Getting to Accuracy: Measuring COVID-19 by Mortality Rates and Percentage Changes

Abstract: Comparing the trajectory of the COVID-19 epidemic in the United States to that of other countries can provide important insights into how the virus is progressing in the United States and the effectiveness of our response. The quality of those insights depends on the data we choose to compare and how we conduct that comparison. This report argues that cumulative mortality rates and their percentage changes are the best available measures for comparing the trajectory of the epidemic in different countries. Based on these measures, the epidemic in the United States has a similar mortality rate to those in Europe and is more deadly than in China and South Korea.

Keywords: COVID-19;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Source: Cleveland Fed District Data Brief

Publication Date: 2020-04-08

Note: The author has updated this report as of April 13, 2020. See note below chart 1 for specifics.