From: PDX (and now) London, UK
I'm not yet sure about that, BBfanboy. Each measure (cases, testing, mortality) is subject to uncertainties/issues, but mortality is probably a better measure than confirmed cases. To this point, a number of European countries have significantly higher mortality rates (2x to 4x). Contrary to the news report you allude to, new cases and mortality are level or dropping in the US and in many states. That might change, and according to IHME it will, but until it does, the situation in the US isn't as severe as Italy, Spain, France, UK, Belgium, and Netherlands, among others.
Re: your assertion that the US health care system hasn't fared any better, that isn't the case either. The US has had roughly the same number of cases/million as Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Ireland, and a good bit more than UK and France, yet significantly lower mortality/million than those countries. By that measure, the medical system has handled its case load comparatively well.
We don't know how things will turn out in the end, but to this point the US has done comparatively well.
Mortality is a lagging, but accurate account of what has been happening, it's just that we still don't have a good grasp of the infection mortality rate (I hope I'm using the correct term. I know it's not case fatality rate, but overall infections, known or unknown).
I've been leaning toward looking at the percentage positive in testing as a good indicator of persistence of the infection within the population now that testing has increased to a relatively high level in many places. In the US it's still at 16+%, so above the WHO recommended reopening guideline of 10% positive.
The trouble with understanding the US is that it is very different in density, measures in place, compliance and other regional factors. We may not know for a while how htings will go into the summer. I don't think they're going to be as difficult as IHME is predicting now, but I don't think it'll b easy everywhere during the reopening phase either. Some outbreaks will likely flare up.
"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill