79.8 Overall Score (up 10.3 since Aug 1st.)


  • 59 Public Health
  • 46 Financial
  • 100 Fact-Based
  • 59 Public Health
  • 46 Financial
  • 100 Fact-Based

Argentina’s strong policy score is mainly due to its strong political response, characterized by clear, fact-based communication and regular press briefings by President Fernandez.

Pre-COVID Conditions

Low availability of hospital beds and a low GDP per capita kept Argentina near the median in its pre-pandemic capabilities.

  • Debt/GDP ratio 86.1%
  • GDP/capita $19,971
  • Gini coefficient (out of 100) 41.4
  • Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 9
  • Healthcare access score (out of 100) 68.4
  • Hospital beds/1,000 People 35.8

Government Response

Select a data point for more information
(Data points represent policy level as of Oct 1.)

Public Health Directives

Although it passed a strict stay-at-home order on March 19th, closing schools and banning public gatherings, Argentina’s limited testing, minimal travel restrictions, and release of less than $2 per capita in emergency healthcare funding bring down its score substantially.

  • Stay at home order 3
  • Public gathering restrictions 4
  • School closings 3
  • Public event cancellations 2
  • Testing policy 1
  • Emergency healthcare investments/capita $1.62
  • Travel restrictions 4
  • Tests/1,000 people 37.2
  • Contact tracing 2

Financial Response

While Argentina’s stimlus package represents a smaller share of its economy than in other countries in our sample, the country has implemented a generous policy targeting debt relief related to COVID-19, keeping its score near the median.

  • Financial stimulus as share of GDP 6%
  • Income support 1
  • Debt forebearance 2

Fact-Based Communication

The Argentine authorities have consistently communicated fact- and science-based information to the public through weekly press briefings.

  • Reliance on science/fact based information 0
  • Press freedom 0

COVID-19 Status as of Oct 1

Argentina performs very poorly overall, and its extremely high positive test rate suggests that the country is only testing its sickest people, masking the true extent of COVID-19's spread, which is troubling because it has a very high case rate.

  • Total deaths 16,937
  • Death rate per 100K 374.7
  • Total cases 750,988
  • Cases per 100K 16,616
  • Percent of positive tests 67.2
  • Change in positivity rates +26.2
Case Trend Line
Daily cases Level 2 Lockdown Level 3 Lockdown
Date Status New Cases/1M
1 Jul 17 Some shops, hair salons, professional services reopen; outdoor activities allowed 76.27
2 Jul 31 Lockdown is extended until August after cases rise 117.26
3 Sep 21 Lockdown further extended until October 11th. 241.66

Differentiating Factors

  • Argentina in top 10 worse cases: 1 in 2 tests are positive, provinces instead of cities getting hit the hardest as economic pressures force government to ease lockdown restrictions. Read More
  • Strict lockdown taking major economic toll: Imposing the strictest lockdown in Latin America, Argentina had early success limiting cases, but implementation has contributed to a major contraction in the economy. Read More
  • Peronism facilitated public compliance: The lasting legacy of Peronism, particularly its popularity among low-income and informal workers, enabled the government to swiftly enact a strict lockdown, aided by its strong centralized government. Governors wishing to lift lockdowns in their states require permission from the President. Read More
  • Debt burden hindered financial response: Argentina's historically rocky relationship with the IMF has hindered its ability to respond to the pandemic financially, as it must balance stabilization of its economy and responding to the needs of its citizens with the conditions of its debt restructuring agreement with the Fund. Read More
  • Leader models behavior: Political leadership has been key to Argentina's relative success: on June 17 it was reported that President Fernandez would go into voluntary self-isolation following several instances of politicians catching coronavirus. He suspended all travel and in-person meetings, working from the presidential residence to set an example to the public. Read More
Compared with Other Western Hemisphere Countries
  • 48.2
    Brazil 4,810,935
    Per 1M

    Brazil has a relatively weak score, primarily due to its poor public health policies, especially its very low levels of testing, coupled with President Bolsonaro’s spreading of misinformation about the virus.

  • 52.8
    Mexico 743,216
    Per 1M

    Mexico's score has deteriorated over time, due primarily to its extremely weak financial response and relatively weak public health policy, including very limited testing.

  • 39.1
    United States 7,233,043
    Per 1M

    Still battling widespread COVID-19 cases and deaths, which were exacerbated by the former administration's limited use of facts and science, limited emergency healthcare spending, and limited debt relief, the Biden administration, by contrast, is taking aggressive action to combat the virus, although it may take time for the score to reflect these changes.

  • 76.2
    Canada 158,758
    Per 1M

    Canada has a relatively strong score, with poor public health policy countered by a continued reliance on fact-based communication.

Further Reading From Foreign Policy

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New Zealand

Statistics and government response factors available on each country profile include:

Pre-COVID Conditions:

  • Debt to GDP ratio
  • Infant mortality rates
  • Hospital beds per 1,000 people
  • Gini coefficients measuring inequality
  • Health access and quality

COVID-19 Public Health Directives:

  • Stay-at home orders
  • School-closing policy
  • Public-gathering restrictions
  • Cancellation of public events
  • Testing policy and rates per 1,000 people
  • Emergency healthcare spending per capita
  • Travel restrictions
  • Contact tracing

COVID-19 Financial Response:

  • Stimulus package as a share of GDP
  • Income support
  • Debt-forbearance

Public Communications:

  • Instances of misinformation by leadership
  • Limitations on press freedom, censorship

Current/Historic In-Country COVID-19 Status:

  • Death rates per 1 million
  • Case rates per 1 million