Coronavirus Morning News Brief – May 24: US pandemic death rate higher than some developing countries, Austria suspends mask mandate

The Secession Building in Vienna, home of the Wiener Secession art movement

Hello. This is the report by Jonathan Spira. Now here is the pandemic news from around the world on the 775th day of the pandemic.

It will not shock readers of this space that the United States has recorded more deaths above normal levels during the pandemic than other wealthy countries. The findings come from data released by the World Health Organization this month.

The number of deaths in the United States was 15% higher than normal deaths in 2020 and 2021, a figure that was higher than any other country in the “high income” class, except Chile, the Republic Czech Republic, Poland and Romania.

The same figure was 12% for the UK, 11% for Germany, 4% for Canada and -1% for Japan. Australia’s figure was -4%.

To be sure, many Third World countries fare much worse, notably Egypt (21%) and Ukraine (17%), and those in the middle ‘upper middle income’ category have even higher numbers. devastating, such as 97% in Peru and 41%. % in Mexico.

But the United States had the lion’s share of resources with which to fight the pandemic, despite some hiccups during initial deployments.

Why are its figures worse than those of countries that had far fewer resources such as Argentina and the Philippines (12% each)?

To put the figure into perspective, across the world there have been 13% more – or 15 million – deaths, according to the WHO.

In other news we cover today, a US senator and gubernatorial candidate have tested positive, more ‘partygate’ photos of Boris Johnson surface, and Google Maps workers are resisting a comeback in the office.

Here’s a look at what’s happened over the past 24 hours.


Connecticut’s presumptive Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski announced, just a day after attending an anti-mask group’s ‘Freedom Family Cookout’, that he had tested positive for Covid. The 60-year-old candidate lost in 2018 to current governor Ned Lamont.

Meanwhile, Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon announced on Monday that he had tested positive for Covid.

Merkley said he had been in close contact with someone who tested positive earlier, adding he had “mild” symptoms. The senator said he is both vaccinated and boosted.

“This is another reminder that Covid-19 is still with us,” Merkley said in a statement. “As Americans make plans ahead of the holiday weekend, I encourage everyone to take steps to ensure the virus is not an uninvited guest.”

Finally, CNN anchor Jake Tapper reportedly filmed an episode of his primetime show at the network’s studio earlier this month after testing positive for coronavirus. The incident took place on May 9, and Tapper received his diagnosis just before his 4 p.m. show.

CNN said in a statement that Tapper, after being informed of the positive test result, “asked CNN executives what to do and then followed through on it — he masked and isolated, did the show in solo in a flash studio (single-person in a closed room) and went home immediately afterwards.


Austria has announced a three-month break in its mask mandate. The change will come into effect on June 1, Gesundheitsminister Johannes Rauch announced on Wednesday. Masks remain compulsory in hospitals, nursing homes and retirement homes, and recommended in “vulnerable” places.

Rauch cited the drop in the number of new cases in recent weeks as the reason for the change.

New daily infection figures have fallen significantly in Austria since mid-March, when the 7-day incidence was above 48,000. Currently, the 7-day incidence stands at 2,878.

Meanwhile, officials in Beijing have stepped up quarantine efforts to try to end a month-old Covid outbreak, as Shanghai residents have expressed frustration over continued restrictions in the city of 25 million. residents as it prepares to lift an extended lockdown in just over a week.

In the UK, new photos of Boris Johnson toasting at a party for his communications director, Lee Cain, have leaked. The party came at a time when Covid rules prohibited such gatherings with people outside his immediate household.

The Metropolitan Police investigate Cain’s departure. Johnson received a fixed penalty notice, or fine, for attending a surprise birthday party thrown for him in November 2020.


Electric vehicle maker Tesla is said to have locked down its workers in former factories and a military camp as it tries to cultivate a Covid-free second shift for its Gigafactory factory south of Shanghai. This factory was closed for several weeks from late March amid the city’s lockdown.

Google contractors who are part of the Google Maps team in Rothell, Wash., are resisting efforts to return to the office five days a week in June.

Some 200 employees of Google contractor Cognizant Technology Solutions signed a petition saying they could not afford travel with today’s high fuel prices and also cited health and child care issues.

“Gas is currently around $5 a gallon, and many of us in the office cannot afford to live near the office due to our low wages and high cost of housing in Bothell,” it read. in the petition.


Now here are the daily stats for Tuesday, May 24.

As of Tuesday morning, the world had recorded 528.5 million cases of Covid-19, an increase of 0.7 million new cases over the previous 24 hours and 6.3 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks these information. Additionally, 498.8 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.7 million.

Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Tuesday is 23,320,951, a decrease of 124,000. Of this figure, 99.8%, or 23,282,977, are considered mild and 0.2 %, or 37,974, are listed as critical. The percentage of cases considered critical is unchanged in the past 24 hours.

The United States reported 133,346 new coronavirus infections for the previous day on Tuesday, compared with 21,982 on Monday, 37,307 on Sunday, 139,427 on Saturday and 112,599 on Friday, according to data from the US Department of Health and Human Services. The 7-day incidence rate continues to climb and is now 108,034. Figures for the weekend (reported the next day) are typically 30%-60% of those shown on weekdays due to a number lower than tests carried out.

The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 107,316, an increase of 46%, based on data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources. The average number of daily deaths over the same period is 312, a decrease of 15% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations over the period was 24,747, an increase of 28%.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic, the United States has on Tuesday recorded 85.1 million cases, a figure higher than any other country, and a death toll of more than one million. India has the second highest number of officially registered cases in the world, more than 43.1 million, and a reported death toll of 524,490.

New data from Russia’s state statistical service Rosstat showed in late April that the number of Covid- or Covid-related deaths since the pandemic began there in April 2020 is now over 803,000, giving the country the second highest pandemic-related death in the world. toll-free, after the United States. Rosstat reported that 35,584 people died from coronavirus or related causes in March, compared to 43,543 in February.

Meanwhile, Brazil has now recorded the third highest death toll from the virus, 665,727, and has recorded more than 30.8 million cases.

France continues to occupy the fourth position in the total number of cases with 29.4 million cases, and Germany is in the fifth position with 26.2 million. The UK, with 22.2 million cases, is now number six and is the only other country in the world with a total number of cases above 20 million.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that as of Tuesday, 258.2 million people in the United States – or 77.8% – had received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 66.5%, or 220.9 million people, have received two doses of the vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been distributed in the United States is now 584.5 million. Breaking it down further, 89.2% of the population over 18 – or 230.3 million people – received at least one first inoculation and 76.5% of the same group – or 197.5 million people – are completely vaccinated. In addition, 50.1% of this population, or 98.9 million people, have already received a third dose, or booster dose, of vaccine.

More than 65.7% of the world’s population received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine on Tuesday, according to Our World in Data, an online science publication that tracks such information. So far, 11.77 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered worldwide and 5.85 million doses are now being administered every day.

Meanwhile, only 15.9% of people in low-income countries have received a dose, while in countries like Canada, China, Denmark, France, Italy, the UK and the United States, at least 75% of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Only a few of the world’s poorest countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia and Nepal – have reached the 70% vaccination mark. Many countries, however, are below 20%, and in countries like Haiti, Senegal and Tanzania, for example, vaccination rates remain in the single digits or even lower.

Additionally, North Korea and Eritrea are now the only two countries in the world that have not administered vaccines.

Anna Breuer contributed to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)