Germany, long championed by the U.S. media as an example of how to handle Covid-19 correctly, is in the middle of an outbreak every bit as awful as what we’re experiencing right now in America:
"I really am sorry, from the bottom of my heart. But if the price we pay is 590 deaths a day then this in unacceptable."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel begs Germans to follow coronavirus restrictions in an unusually emotional appeal ahead of Christmas. pic.twitter.com/dNRge9cvdJ
— DW News (@dwnews) December 9, 2020
And President Trump pointed this out over on Twitter this morning:
Germany has consistently been used by my obnoxious critics as the country that we should follow on the way to handle the China Virus. So much for that argument. I love Germany – Vaccines on the way!!! https://t.co/hEeKIqDMQn
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 9, 2020
Journos, however, were quick to note that the number of deaths in the U.S. yesterday exceeded the number of deaths in Germany as if this were some sort of “gotcha!” moment:
The U.S. reported 2,600 deaths yesterday. https://t.co/KEj02TdeBT
— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) December 9, 2020
The U.S. is about 4 times the size of Germany, so unless you’re pointing out that Germany is as bad as the U.S. is right now, you’re doing it wrong:
Trump is dunking on Germany over 590 coronavirus deaths in a single day. 2,622 died in the US yesterday. https://t.co/omIWMPz6u9
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 9, 2020
This is an even more meaningless way to present the information:
Trump saying Germany shouldn't be a model for covid response because they hit 590 deaths in one day.
The last time the US 7-day average death toll was under 590/day was July 7.
2,259 people died from covid in the US yesterday. https://t.co/P9lve4RLBa
— Jacob Rubashkin (@JacobRubashkin) December 9, 2020
Why can’t they just say both numbers are bad?
The president is criticizing Germany as it recorded a record 590 COVID deaths in one day yesterday.
Over 2,600 people died in the U.S. yesterday. https://t.co/bKCYhJ3GPg
— Grace Segers (@Grace_Segers) December 9, 2020
It’s journos that are removed from reality:
Didn't the U.S. have, like, FIVE times as many deaths yesterday? How removed is Trump from reality? https://t.co/C3tuW7bEFu
— Bill Shapiro (@Bill_Shapiro) December 9, 2020
To be fair, there is a way to compare the two countries if you’re looking to criticize the president, but most the responses to the president aren’t cutting it:
Deaths per million people during the pandemic:
US: 884 per million
Germany: 241 per million
The US has nearly 4x more deaths per capita than Germany. https://t.co/oYcwTtmQjn
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) December 9, 2020