More than Half of All US COVID-19 Deaths Occur in Only Four States
As of March 24, nearly 30 percent of all the COVID-19 deaths in the United States have occurred in New York state. Of the 910 deaths reported so far in the US, 271 happened in New York. Washington State was in second place, with 13 percent of the nation’s COVID-19 deaths. California comes next with 5.6 percent of all deaths, followed by New Jersey, with 4.8 percent.
In fact, more than fifty percent of all COVID-19 deaths in the US have come from just these four states.
The death rates in New York, New Jersey, and Washington are all sizably higher than in the US overall, as well. The number of deaths per 100,000 in population in New York is six times higher than in the US overall:
If we were to remove New York, New Jersey, California, and Washington State from the United States altogether, the US’s death rate from Covid-19 would fall by 40 percent, and total cases would fall by 53 percent.
As with so many statistics, a nationwide statistic for COVID-19 deaths in the US is misleading. As with poverty, life expectancy, and crime, COVID-19 is not evenly distributed throughout the country, and many areas of the country have only been lightly affected so far. As of March 24, 14 states have not reported a single death from COVID-19. Although there is reason to expect some states will yet face sizable increases in cases and deaths, we can’t assume this will happen everywhere.
Unlike deaths, which are fairly closely monitored for the presence of COVID-19, total cases are mostly unknown. More serious cases tend to get tested while mild cases remain unobserved. Thus, it is possible low case totals are a result of less testing. Yet, we do find the situation with cases is similar to what we’ve seen with deaths. Less than half of all known cases are in the states outside of these New York, New Jersey, California, and Washington. It is plausible that many states reporting few to no deaths really do have few cases and even fewer serious cases. Moreover, as we have seen internationally, states are likely to differ in death rates due to a variety of factors other than the total number of cases. That is, COVID-19 death rates are not simply a function of total cases.
It is likely that certain regions on the US continue to be the “hot spots” for the US in terms of the strain on medical resources, while some regions of the US remain far less affected. Nearly all states are likely to face challenges with the spread of the virus, but the fact remains in many states the strain on the medical infrastructure is nothing like we’ve seen in places like New York and Washington State. In New York, for example, we hear stories of how “morgues are full,” and the Pentagon says it plans to set up field hospitals in both New York and Washington State.
Why Lock Down the Entire Nation?
This raises the question o