Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., discussed the coronavirus outbreak with the “Fox News Rundown” podcast Friday, saying Americans have culturally been reluctant to accept the shutdown, as opposed to other countries, adding that the American death rate would be less concerning had New York not made mistakes in handling the first wave of the virus.
“Well, a lot of [other countries] have… a cultural difference that accepts the shutdown much more than, than America. And we’ve always been very independent, no matter what party or what affiliation,” Collins said, when asked why some Asian countries were doing better than the United States.
“So we don’t have the culture and I think you can’t downplay that enough. There, there’s not the cultural collectivism to do things like that.”
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington estimates 224,089 fatalities from COVID-19 by Nov. 1, which is roughly 90,000 more than the current number of deaths in the U.S.
The congressman argued that a “proper perspective” was also needed to honestly analyze America’s struggle with the virus.
“We’re a much larger sample. We’re looking through this. But I think we just have to continue to maintain a proper perspective, especially from an economic and a health perspective,” Collins added. “There’s a balance between the two because there’s a lot of, you know, side effects and other things that were happening as well.”
Collins said he was concerned with the virus but argued that nursing home deaths, in particular New York’s, are not being factored into the discussion.
“Does it concern me? Yes, it concerns me. Any death concerns me. But what really concerned me early on, especially in a large number of our deaths were places like New York and other places who were sending COVID patients back to nursing homes,” Collins said. “And in nursing homes, you were seeing the largest amount of deaths because they had a limited environment, closed environment, inside and that was just wrong. So you take away a lot of these deaths, could have possibly been avoided.”
Fox News’ David Aaro contributed to this report.