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The Limits of American Recovery

Summary:
While most of the Global North has reached a state of cautious optimism after confronting COVID-19 head on, the United States continues to stand out for its persistently high rates of death and infection. This public-health failure, and the political dysfunction underpinning it, will remain a drag on economic performance. BERKELEY – The United States is home to 4% of the world’s population but 21% of confirmed COVID-19 deaths; it accounts for 25% of the Global North’s population but 50% of its excess mortalities (deaths from all causes above the usual rate) registered during the pandemic. The Way We Could Live Now PS OnPoint Getty Images

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While most of the Global North has reached a state of cautious optimism after confronting COVID-19 head on, the United States continues to stand out for its persistently high rates of death and infection. This public-health failure, and the political dysfunction underpinning it, will remain a drag on economic performance.

BERKELEY – The United States is home to 4% of the world’s population but 21% of confirmed COVID-19 deaths; it accounts for 25% of the Global North’s population but 50% of its excess mortalities (deaths from all causes above the usual rate) registered during the pandemic.

Moreover, America’s current cumulative cases per million are almost four times higher than in the European Union (though the latter itself...

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