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A Terrifying Yet Unsurprising Statistic

The Breakdown with Shaun King

Shaun King & Kendi K
Jul 27, 2020 - 1:16

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There is a disturbing and well known statistic that shows that despite accounting for only 4 percent of the world’s population, the United States accounts for nearly 25 percent of the world’s prison population. 

This stat is horrific yet unsurprising, as most things in America tend to be, and it is the exact same statistic for the world’s coronavirus cases. 

According to the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, the United States accounts for a quarter of the world’s coronavirus cases. Just as one in four incarcerated people in the world are American, one in four coronavirus patients are as well. I don’t know how many other ways to put it for the meaning to truly sink in. Not only do we alone make up 25 percent of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the number of cases in the U.S. is nearly double that of the second leading country, Brazil. No other country in the world is even close to our numbers. 

This isn’t a coincidence. 

This isn’t bad luck. 

This is a national systems failure. 

We live in a country that does not value the well being of its citizens. We are the only developed nation in the world that does not have some form of universal healthcare. Our stimulus check program barely lasted and was wildly insufficient, while other countries continue to financially support their citizens through this global crisis. In a study conducted by Asher & Lyric Fergusson, the United States was listed as the second to last worst developed nation in the world to raise a family based on safety, health, cost, overall happiness and a series of other factors. 

America refuses to provide its citizens with the basic social services every other developed nation does. It does not even care about its citizens basic right to be alive, as proven by the detrimental handling of the Coronavirus pandemic from the start. 

This country has a systems problem and a personnel problem. That is to say, both the systems in America and the people who run them must be drastically changed. A country run by good people who are in charge of oppressive systems cannot thrive, and vice versa. The systems and structures of the United States must be abolished, and radical, compassionate people must be elected.

In today’s episode, Shaun breaks down what this statistic says about the present state of America, and what it means for its future. 

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At the end of each story we publish about the coronavirus, we are now sharing the following information:

Coronavirus 411

The novel coronavirus, officially named SARS-CoV-2, is a virus that causes a number of respiratory illnesses, including lung lesions and pneumonia. The virus, which causes COVID-19, spreads easily from person to person through the air when a sick person breathes, talks, coughs or sneezes. 

COVID-19 originated in Wuhan, China and has spread to 188 countries. More than 16.26 million people around the world have become infected and more than 648,000 people have died. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a worldwide pandemic. 

President Donald Trump declared the COVID-19 outbreak a national emergency on March 13. Less than two weeks later, on March 26, the United States surpassed China in the number of COVID-19 cases. The U.S. now has 4.23 million confirmed cases and more than 146,000 deaths. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 can take between two to 14 days to appear. The CDC recommends calling your doctor if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop symptoms, including fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Other symptoms include chills, repeated shaking, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell.
In order to keep yourself and others safe, be sure to wash your hands frequently, practice social distancing and avoid touching your face. The CDC is recommending that gatherings of 50 people or more be canceled for the next eight weeks. Click here for information on how to prepare for a quarantine.

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