18/07/2020 07:40 BST | Updated 20/07/2020 11:43 BST

9 Charts That Show Just How Bad The Coronavirus Situation Is In The US Right Now

The most deaths in the world, soaring infections and unemployment, and a trouncing in the polls for Donald Trump. Here's the picture in the US.

As the UK tries to prevent a second wave of coronavirus, over in the US they’re still trying to put a lid on the first.

The situation is becoming increasingly dire by the day and the number of deaths from Covid-19 is beginning to reflect the massive surge in infections seen in recent weeks.

Compounding the crisis are a president still doing his best not to acknowledge anything is wrong, and an economy in tatters.

Here are nine charts that show just how bad things are right now.

1) Cases

First let’s look at the global level and the rather straightforward fact that the US has more confirmed cases of coronavirus than any other country. 

Statista/GHS Index

President Donald Trump has tried to downplay this fact, saying it’s simply a result of more actual testing, a point he tried to make recently in what was possibly his dumbest tweet yet.

This is nonsense for two reasons. Firstly, just because you don’t confirm a case of coronavirus by testing, doesn’t mean it stops existing.

And secondly, the percentage of people testing positive out of all those being tested is increasing rapidly, a sure sign the virus is spreading.

2) Where those cases are appearing

In the early days of the pandemic, US states on the east coast were ravaged while elsewhere infection remained low. 

This is no longer the case with only a handful of states now reporting fewer than 10,000 cases.


3) When those cases appeared

While the total number of cases is alarming, the timing of them is even more so. While regions that were hotspots at the beginning of the pandemic such as New York State have seen a reduction of cases, this has been massively outweighed by the number of new infections across the rest of the country.


The US shattered its daily record for coronavirus infections on Thursday, reporting more than 77,000 new cases – amply demonstrating the country has failed to contain the first wave even as the threat of a second looms large.

On Friday another 70,674 new infections were reported across the country.

4) Deaths

The US has the highest death toll of any country – although, measured per capita, the UK, Spain, Italy, Sweden and France still have more. But when looking at daily fatalities, the numbers paint a far more worrying picture than in any of those countries.

During the peak of the crisis in April, the US was reporting more than 2,000 deaths every day. Since then, the number has reduced – but, because of the lag between people catching the disease and dying from it, it is now moving upwards again.

Covid Deaths

The very real concern is that in the coming days the daily death toll will reflect the rise in infections and spike dramatically. 

5) Lockdown

As well as presenting an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, the coronavirus pandemic also presents Trump with an unprecedented economic crisis, both of which he is attempting to downplay. 

The president has only tweeted once to express sadness over the death toll in the US.

Meanwhile, he has tweeted positively about the economy 37 times since the beginning of June.

This is for one simple reason – his re-election hinges upon it. Hampering the economy and therefore his chances of reelection are the lockdowns in place across the US.

Trump has aggressively pushed for states to reopen as quickly as possible but it’s up to the governors of those states, not the White House.

And with the south of the country facing a resurgence in cases, many states have not only paused the plan to end restrictions – most are actually reversing, and reimposing lockdowns.

States Reopening

6) The economy

Despite Trump’s positive spin on US economic performance, the country has taken a battering and a recovery is way off.

Although it has been falling since May, unemployment is still at a massive 11.1%. Trump has repeatedly trumpeted the jobs added without adding the context of the overall drop.

What this means for the average American is that nearly half of all households have had their incomes negatively affected by the pandemic.

Household Incomes

7) Mental health

The pandemic has not only taken a physical toll on those infected with the disease. It has hit the mental health of an even wider segment of the US population.

A recent survey showed a massive surge in the number of Americans reporting symptoms of anxiety and/or depression compared to last year.

Mental Health

8) American pride

For decades, American pride has been – for better or worse – the fuel of western civilisation. 

While on the decline in recent years, it has taken a huge knock in 2020.

American Pride

9) The election

The botched response to the pandemic, the huge death toll and the economic damage has been devastating for Trump.

Despite being largely confined to his home, his Democratic opponent Joe Biden is currently trouncing him in the polls.

Trump vs Biden

The United States recorded a total of at least 70,674 new Covid-19 infections on Friday after climbing by a record 77,499 a day earlier, the largest increase posted by any country since the pandemic started, according to a Reuters tally.

US deaths on Friday rose by at least 912, the fourth day in a row that fatalities have exceeded 900 a day.

(Infographics supplied by Statista)