The United States Has a Very Low COVID-19 Case Fatality Rate

In my COVID-19 summary this morning I mentioned that the US case fatality rate was quite low. Here’s how we compare to my usual full set of nine countries:

Here’s a broader look courtesy of the Center for Evidence-Based Medicine:

What accounts for the big drop between Sweden and Greece? Why does the United States have one-third the CFR of Great Britain? It’s not because of our low testing rate: if we tested more and therefore uncovered more cases, our CFR would be even lower. Does it have something to do with demographics? National health profiles? The quality of medical care?

I don’t know. But a 7x spread from 1.7 percent to 13.0 percent seems pretty remarkable. Whatever the answer is, it goes a long way toward explaining why our death rate from COVID-19 is pretty low (so far).

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