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The U.S. Has 6.3 Times More COVID-19 Cases Per 100,000 than Canada. What Went Wrong?

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Coronavirus COVID-19As of this past Friday, August 27, the U.S. had 330 COVID-19 infections per 100,000 over the last 7 days, according to the Reuters COVID-19 tracker. Canada had 6.3 times fewer cases, reporting only 52 per 100,000 over the past 7 days. The U.S. stood at 62 percent of its prior peak of cases on Friday while Canada stood at 32 percent of its prior peak.

The U.S. and Canada confirmed their first cases of the virus within a week of each other in January of 2020. Both countries began vaccinating their population at roughly the same time, in December of 2020. The majority of shots in both countries came from the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which require two doses to be considered fully vaccinated.

But the U.S. fell dramatically behind Canada in the early days of testing for the virus. By the middle of March 2020, the testing rate in Canada was approximately five times greater than the testing rate in the U.S. Vox explained the difference in testing between the two countries like this on May 4, 2020:

“Canada was ahead of the North American curve on testing because its federal government once again made the right choices. In mid-March, Canadian federal authorities launched a large-scale testing procurement program aimed at ensuring the country could test early and often. By contrast, Trump put his unqualified son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in charge of the country’s testing ramp-up. Kushner proceeded to hype a Google testing website that didn’t exist and spearhead a drive-through push that, as of early April, had built a grand total of five testing centers across the entire country.”

By July 15, 2020, the Washington Post was reporting that the United States had “more than three times as many total infections per capita, and nearly twice as many deaths” as Canada.

As of last Friday, the Canadian government is reporting that 66.3 percent of its population is fully vaccinated while the CDC is reporting that just 52 percent of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated.


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