President Trump's top health advisors have announced that they expect between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans to die from COVID-19 despite stringent social distancing guidelines being in place. Without them, the projections go up to somewhere between 1.5 million and 2.2 million deaths. Other countries are already experiencing catastrophic death tolls with 12,428 fatalities in Italy and 9,053 in Spain while U.S. deaths have surpassed 4,000. All three countries are among the top global investors in healthcare according to OECD data.
One of the most disturbing aspects of this pandemic is the manner in which it has paralyzed and overwhelmed some of the world's best health systems. The OECD's latest Health at a Glance report shows just how much money the countries worst impacted by COVID-19 pump into their healthcare systems each year. The data shows that the U.S. spends the most out of any OECD country - equivalent to 16.9 percent of GDP or over $10,000 per person when adjusted for purchasing power.
Northern Italy is regarded as having one of the world's best and most efficient health systems but it was swiftly overhelmed by a COVID-19 tidal wave, particularly due to overburdened ICU capacity and a chronic lack of ventilators. Italy's health expenditure is equivalent to 8.8% of GDP and Spain's is similar at 8.9%. South Korea is similar once again at 8.1%, though it has completely avoided the faith of both Italy and Spain by moving swiftly to test, trace and isolate its confirmed COVID-19 cases. As of April 01, 2020, it had only experienced 165 deaths while the pandemic has been largely stabilized.