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It's time to start looking at the death toll instead of number of cases

To get an accurate picture of coronavirus in the United States, medical experts say we need to focus on the number of deaths right now.
Credit: WFMY

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Talk with a doctor about how bad coronavirus is and just about all of them will tell you, "We don't have good data."

The United States has rushed to create more tests for the virus, but folks on the front line say they still can't get to everyone who wants to be checked out. This means the number of cases in our state and nation is under-reported.

Add to that: we've heard from people who say it took two weeks to get their coronavirus test results back. That means the number of cases today is old data under-representing what the virus was like even two weeks ago.

Instead, the best measure of the virus's impact right now is the number of deaths. Last week alone in the US there was a 420 percent increase. And top health officials say up to 100,000 Americans could die from the virus.

"Being realistic, we need to prepare ourselves that that is a possibility that that's what we will see," Dr. Anthony Fauci siad.

Even that number needs context though. Remember we're a nation of 328 million people. The current death rate is 12 out of every one million in the US.

That's way better than Italy's 205 deaths per million people. Or Spain's 175 deaths per million people. But you can tell the US could do more to control the virus when you compare us to South Korea where three out of every million people died or China where they report two out of every million died.

To help us all keep track of the real impact this virus is having on our state and country, I'm going to share this number of deaths per million people in the US every night on my Facebook page. If you want to follow along, just search for Watchdogben.

Ben Briscoe. 2,987 likes · 380 talking about this. Weekend anchor/investigative reporter in North Carolina for WFMY News 2. Murrow winner and always on the hunt for a story which could make a difference.

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