In a recent article in The AtlanticThomas Chatterton Williams decried America’s handling of the coronavirus.

The words “utter disaster” are used, and Williams, an expatriate, contrasts America’s response to that of France, where he currently lives.

“As Donald Trump’s America continues to shatter records for daily infections, France, like most other developed nations and even some undeveloped ones, seems to have beat back the virus,” Williams writes.

To be sure, the US response to the coronavirus was far from perfect (more on that later). But the article shows one of the challenges with this pandemic: even as more data is acquired, the picture doesn’t always get clearer.

In some ways, COVID-19 data are like a Rorschach blot from which writers, politicians, and experts can glean whatever conclusions they wish to find. Take Sweden, where daily COVID-19 deaths recently reached zero.

According to Newsweek editorial director Hank Gilman, Sweden’s “lighter touch” approach was a failure because seven times as many people died there than in neighboring Scandnavian countries such as Finland and Norway. He is not alone in the assessment.

On the other hand, Sweden suffered far fewer deaths per capita than several European neighbors that instituted strict lockdowns—including Belgium, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom—and has avoided some of the economic fallout other nations have endured. Unlike other countries, its currency is growing stronger.

Indeed, Sweden’s death rate is remarkably close to that of France, which Williams praised as a model in contrast to the “utter disaster” in the US. However, the US actually has a lower per capita death rate than both Sweden and France…

Continue reading: 3 States Account for 42 Percent of All COVID-19 Deaths in America. Why? | Jon Miltimore