North Dakota in the United States had the highest coronavirus death rate of any state or country in the world last week.
According to statistics from the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), South Dakota also ranked at the third worst in the world.
Interestingly, the midwestern states also both rank the lowest in terms of mask wearing in the US.
Dr William Haseltine, president of Access Health International, said the shocking death rate was ‘as bad as it gets anywhere in the world,’ before blaming state leaders for failing to enforce lifesaving measures adopted elsewhere in the country.
Last week, North Dakota recorded 18.2 COVID-19 deaths per million people, while South Dakota saw 17.4 deaths per million, the FAS charts state.
Dr Ali Mokdad, a professor at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle, said these kind of morality rates are what you’d expect to see in a war-torn country, not in one of the world’s leading nations.
‘How could we allow this in the United States to happen? This is unacceptable by any standards,’ he told USA Today.
Just last week North Dakota governor Doug Burgum moved to implement restrictions, asking members of the public to wear masks in certain settings.
‘Our situation has changed, and we must change with it,’ the Republican said in a video message, adding that doctors and nurses in the state ‘need our help, and they need it now.’
The state currently has 12,000 active cases of the virus, and as of yesterday, November 16, a total of 749 residents are said to have died from COVID-19.
Meanwhile, South Dakota governor Kristi Noem has publicly opposed implementing a mask mandate and has questioned the effectiveness of them on several occasions.
‘The facts are simple: mask mandates, harsh lockdowns, massive testing and contact tracing haven’t worked — in the United States or abroad,’ a spokesperson for the Republican told the Associated Press, via the Huffington Post.
There is currently more than 18,000 reported active cases in North Dakota, in addition to the 644 people who have died from the virus so far.
Cases are continuing to rise, not just in the Dakotas, but all over the United States, where around 1,000 Americans have died every day for the last week. As a whole, the country is currently recording one million new cases per week.
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