U.S. Virus Response Compared to the World

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a struggle around the world, and the United States is no exception. It is worth looking at individual factors to gauge just where we stand now.

The foremost concern is how the U.S. is weathering the pandemic. Initially, the crisis was concentrated in larger urban areas, which makes sense. A virus is more likely to spread among crowded populations. But the U.S. consists of 50 states that citizens may freely travel between without a passport or visa. Unfortunately, that means spread of the virus eventually made its way to rural areas. Now, it seems very few areas of the U.S. are immune, if any.

As of the end of June, there were more than 10 million confirmed cases worldwide and more than a half million deaths resulting from COVID-19. There were more than 2.5 million confirmed cases and 126,203 deaths in the U.S. alone.1

The U.S. is not only having trouble containing the virus. Economists and market analysts are now emphasizing the correlation between containment and economic recovery.2 If you are concerned your personal financial situation may suffer, give us a call. We can help brainstorm ideas to keep you and your portfolio afloat.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the pandemic has had a significant effect on the global economy, with the recovery expected to be more gradual than previously forecasted. Assuming we can find a way to quickly contain the virus domestically, the strength of the U.S. economy throughout the past six years provided a cushion that few other countries have enjoyed. On a global scale, the IMF projects -4.9% growth this year. The U.S. is expected to contract by -8.0%, but that is better than some other developed countries, such as France (-12.5%), the UK (-10.2%) and Canada (-8.4%). However, other countries appear to be better positioned: Germany (-7.8%), Japan (-5.8%) and China (1.0%).3

The U.S. also has fallen among competitive world economies, dropping from third to 10th this year, according to the annual ranking report conducted by the Institute for Management Development. The underlying data attributes this decline to the collapse of U.S. global trade agreements rather than the coronavirus.4

Since the pandemic is taking its toll on nearly every aspect of societal, economic and individual lives, it’s worth considering where the U.S. stacks up in its overall health-care responsiveness. On average, our nation spends $10,246 per person. Here are the spending totals in a few other developed countries:5

  • Australia: $5,331/person
  • Germany: $5,033/person
  • Canada: $4,754/person
  • United Kingdom: $3,858/person
  • Japan: $4,168/person
  • Singapore: $2,618/person

As of the end of June, the U.S. is considered a bit of an outlier among other wealthy nations. As our infection rate increases, there is a poor correlation with the amount of money the nation spends on health care, especially compared to other developed nations.6

Content prepared by Kara Stefan Communications.

1 World Health Organization. June 30, 2020. “Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Situation Report – 162.” https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/20200630-covid-19-sitrep-162.pdf?sfvrsn=e00a5466_2. Accessed June 30, 2020.

2 Jonathan Garber. Fox Business. June 30, 2020. “Mandating coronavirus face masks would strengthen US economy: Goldman Sachs.” https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/coronavirus-mask-mandate-boost-economy-goldman-sachs. Accessed June 30, 2020.

3 International Monetary Fund. June 2020. “World Economic Outlook Update, June 2020.” https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/WEO/Issues/2020/06/24/WEOUpdateJune2020. Accessed June 30, 2020.

4 Michelle Jamrisko and Eric Martin. BloombergQuint. June 17, 2020. “U.S. Slumps to 10th Spot in World Competitiveness Rankings.” https://www.bloombergquint.com/global-economics/u-s-slumps-to-10th-spot-in-world-competitiveness-rankings. Accessed June 30, 2020.

5 Huo Jingnan and Pranav Baskar. NPR. June 13, 2020. “Pandemic Perspective: What The 20 Poorest And Richest Countries Spend On Health Care.” https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/06/13/864563401/pandemic-perspective-what-the-20-poorest-and-richest-countries-spend-on-health-c. Accessed June 30, 2020.

6 Dante Chinni. NBC News. June 28, 2020. “Why are similar countries experiencing COVID-19 so differently?” https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/meet-the-press/why-are-similar-countries-experiencing-covid-19-so-differently-n1232358. Accessed June 30, 2020.

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