United States and United Kingdom face highest number of deaths from COVID-19


Photo by James Yarema on Unsplash

United States and United Kingdom Death Tolls

Daniel Wilcox, co-Editor-in-Chief

As of May 17, there have been at least 4.53 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Moreover, around 307 thousand people have lost their lives due to the disease. The two areas that have been most affected by the disease, and have the most cases are the Americas and Europe. The top three countries with the most number of confirmed cases are the United States, Russia and the United Kingdom, with 1.4 million, 281 thousand and 240 thousand confirmed cases, respectively.

The United States has also suffered from the most number of deaths due to the pandemic, with around 85,000 deaths having been recorded, while the United Kingdom has recorded the second highest number, with around 34,000 deaths. Despite these high numbers, both countries are beginning to open up their economies again.

BBC News has reported that US President Donald Trump has been at odds with Dr Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious diseases expert and the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who warned in a testimonial to a Republican-led Congressional committee, that there was an increased likelihood of there being an “outbreak” if states are opened up too quickly. The White House website details the plan being pursued by the Trump administration, titled “Opening Up America Again”, which is in place as “a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts.”

Meanwhile, the UK, which according to Bloomberg overtook Italy as the European country having the most number of deaths on May 5, has also begun relaxing the lockdown that was put in place on March 23, despite fears of a more ferocious second wave of infections. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who had previously suffered from COVID-19 but has recovered, described himself as having a “50-50” chance of beating the disease, according to an interview he had with the Sun on Sunday. Now that he is back leading the government response, Johnson has come under criticism for his government’s slow response to the crisis, as well as providing poor and mismatched messaging regarding the gradual reopening currently in progress. The New York Times reported that critics of the government’s plan found “gaps and contradictions” in the messaging to the public and businesses. Questions are being raised about why the country has not performed as well as others, most notably Germany, which according to WHO has only suffered around 7,900 deaths, despite having a significantly larger population than the UK.