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Death tolls don’t lie. The most striking disparity in COVID-19 fatalities to date is between East Asian countries, where the total number of deaths per million inhabitants is consistently below 10, and much of the West, where the numbers are in the hundreds.

For example, Japan has so far reported 7.8 deaths per million, followed by South Korea (5.8), Singapore (4.6), China (3.2) and, most remarkably of all, Vietnam with zero deaths. By contrast, Belgium now has 846 confirmed deaths per million, and the United Kingdom has 669, followed by Spain (608), Italy (580) and the United States (429).

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