The True Toll of COVID-19

Chart of COVID deaths

Tom McClintock is in full campaign mode, appearing on NewsMax and radio programs, and speaking out on Twitter about the things that matter to him. And because we’ve gotten to know Tom over the last few years, we’re not surprised to see that the lives and health of his constituents – the number of people who have died due to COVID-19 – isn’t important enough to merit a mention, much less a little compassion or empathy for the many people who are suffering due to this pandemic.

COVID-19 is taking the lives of more than 1,200 people every single day in the United States, according to the reported numbers. But that number appears to be low. Although the CDC reports a staggering 160,000 deaths in the U.S. – a death rate of 3.3%, which doesn’t even count the number of people permanently injured due to COVID – the true number appears to be much higher. As this article explains, counting “excess deaths” – the number of people who have died during a particular period in excess of the historical average – shows that the COVID death rate is almost certainly above 200,000.

Tom McClintock, though, isn’t talking about the number of lives lost due to COVID-19. He continues to insist that we should open the economy wide and let businesses operate as normal. He wants us to believe that his libertarian approach to governing – and letting local governments chart their own path – will best get us through this crisis. But the evidence that McClintock refuses to acknowledge shows how wrong he is. As this chart shows, the U.S. ranks 8th in the world for the number of COVID-19 deaths per capita. 48 of every 100,000 people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19. The countries that have done worse than us, with a higher death toll, generally have had the kind of response to COVID-19 that McClintock advocates.

In his recent NewsMax appearance, McClintock pointed to Sweden as a success story. But Sweden’s death rate is 56/100,000, and while it has not strictly enforced social distancing, its community-centered population has done much of the work voluntarily. Belgium, with a staggering 86 deaths per 100,000 people, has been unable to face this challenge because its political system does not have a central federal government that can effectively control the response to COVID-19. The U.K., with a death rate of 69/100,000, approached COVID-19 much like the U.S., with denial and deflection from its leader. In contrast, as we’ve shown, countries that took the pandemic seriously have saved lives and their economies. Tom McClintock has made clear over these past few months that his cultish devotion to a broken political party is more important to him than the lives and livelihoods of his constituents.

California’s 4th District deserves better. We deserve a representative who sees our challenges with clear eyes and takes meaningful action to fix them. We deserve a representative who truly cares about what happens in this District. We deserve a representative who will fight for us.

Join us, as we fight to send Tom McClintock back to his own District, and to finally stop him from selling us out, one vote at a time. To learn more about the alternative, visit

Because we know, as Margaret Mead said, that “a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”