Research suggests half of US COVID-19 deaths could have been prevented

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(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — New research regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has uniquely affected the U.S. suggests that up to half of the nations over 200,000 deaths could have been prevented.

A study published in JAMA Monday, which was updated by the new findings regarding the relatively new novel coronavirus, suggested that the United States suffered from weak public health infrastructure.

Pointing to the “decentralized, inconsistent” response to the spread of the pandemic also contributed to a higher number of deaths, the study suggests.

Finally, despite the U.S. population skewing number, the nation has a disproportionate percentage of citizens that have pre-existing conditions or comorbidities that make them more vulnerable to the virus.

The study compared the nation’s response to COVID-19 and mortality rates to that of nations that suffered from a high, moderate and low mortality rate.

The study found had the U.S. followed Australia’s approach and reflected the country’s low mortality rate of 3,.3 deaths per 100,000 cases, the U.S. could have suffered 187,661 fewer COVID-19 fatalities — 94 percent of reported deaths. In comparison to Canada, a country with a moderate mortality rate of 24.6 deaths per 100,000, the U.S. could have suffered 117,622 fewer deaths, or 56 percent.

“At the first peak in early spring, US death rates from COVID-19 and from all causes remained higher than even countries with a high COVID-19 mortality,” the study reads. “This may have been a result of several factors, including weak public health infrastructure and a decentralized, inconsistent US response to the pandemic.”

The study will compare the U.S.’s fatality rate to the rest of the world’s as it is unknown how global death numbers will be affected throughout the fall.

As of late Monday, the country has suffered 214,034 COVID-19 fatalities and the virus has infected over 7.8 million people, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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