It’s hard enough to make a permanent change of station overseas. Military families are finding it agonizing in a pandemic-torn world.
- 17.9 Public Health
- 6 Financial
- 40 Fact-Based
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.
Despite high wealth, the United States suffers from high debt, low numbers of hospital beds, and a fairly unequal society, driving its score down.
- Debt/GDP ratio 106.9%
- GDP/capita $67,427
- Gini coefficient (out of 100) 41.4
- Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 6
- Healthcare access score (out of 100) 81.3
- Hospital beds/1,000 People 20.4
Government ResponseSelect a data point for more information
(Data points represent policy level as of Mar 15.)
Public Health Directives
The United States’ public health policy is weak, with a major decline in contact tracing and school closings pushing its score down since January.
- Stay at home order 1
- Public gathering restrictions 4
- School closings 2
- Public event cancellations 2
- Testing policy 3
- Emergency healthcare investments/capita $1229.60
- Travel restrictions 3
- Tests/1,000 people 1076.5
- Contact tracing 1
The United States has a relatively low score due to Congress's inability to pass signfiicant debt relief and a relatively small stimulus package until early in 2021. The full effect of the March recovery bill is not yet reflected in the data.
- Financial stimulus as share of GDP 1.6%
- Income support 2
- Debt forebearance 1
The United States does not perform well in this category, as the government has engaged in misinformation as much as any country in the Index, though it has not limited press freedom in response to COVID-19.
- Reliance on science/fact based information 5
- Press freedom 0
COVID-19 Status as of Mar 15
While the United States has had among the worst case and death rates in the world, rates are beginning to decline, aided by efforts by the Biden administration to manage spread and accelerate vaccination.
- Total deaths 55,333
- Death rate per 100K 167.2
- Total cases 29,495,424
- Cases per 100K 1,361
- Percent of positive tests 4.7
- Change in positivity rates -7.4
- U.S. vaccinations surpass number of known COVID-19 cases: On March 9th, the U.S. reached a milestone, as 31 million people were fully vaccinated, surpassing the 29 million recorded cases of COVID-19 to date. Read More
- B.1.1.7 variant spreads across America: The highly contagious B.1.1.7, or "U.K variant," has been recorded in 46 states and Washington, D.C., raising concerns over America's ability to contain the virus, despite an efficient vaccination rollout. Experts worry that the rate of vaccinations may not be enough to outpace a surge in the B.1.1.7 variant. Read More
- Biden signs $1.9 trillion relief bill: President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan on March 11th. The legislation includes direct stimulus payments of $1,400, extended weekly unemployment benefits, and billions of dollars to speed up vaccine distribution and coronavirus testing. Read More
- Workers told to keep COVID-19 cases secret: Workers from major U.S. companies, including Amazon, Smithfield Foods, General Electric, and Amazon, allege that they were told not to share information about their own or co-workers' COVID-19 diagnoses, even among employees. Several have filed OSHA complaints, and epidemiologists worry that gag rules may mask the true rate of infections. Read More
- $2.2 trillion relief bill provided support: In March, the U.S. government passed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill which included one-time payments of up to $1,200 to any American earning below $99,000. Read More
- Record-breaking unemployment: Reaching a previously unsurpassed record of new unemployment claims per week in early July, jobless claims continue to threaten recovery. Read More
- Trump continues touting misinformation: President Trump has been repeatedly criticized at home and abroad for amplifying misinformation and conspiracy theories about the virus; he notably claimed that 99 percent of cases are 'harmless' during a speech on July 4th celebrating American independence. Read More
Compared with Other Western Hemisphere Countries
Per 1M 3,166
Canada has a relatively strong score, with poor public health policy countered by a continued reliance on fact-based communication.
Per 1M 5,322
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.
Per 1M 6,742
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.
Per 1M 66,849
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.
Further Reading From Foreign Policy
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Statistics and government response factors available on each country profile include:
- 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
- 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