Yesterday we reported that despite undergoing the most severe lockdowns, blue states (or states run by Democrat Governors) accounted for the majority of the nation’s coronavirus deaths. Disastrous policies on nursing homes in those blue states are the primary culprit for the discrepancy. Contrary to popular belief, population density is not responsible for blue states having higher coronavirus death tolls than red states, as evidenced by a number of studies.
Not only did these states have the most coronavirus deaths per capita despite severe lockdowns, those lockdowns greatly exacerbated the economic damage caused by the virus. Many Democrat leaders have kept severe restrictions in place even after the virus has run its course. NYC’s Bill de Blasio admits that he has no plans whatsoever to reopen indoor dining even as the city regularly goes multiple days without a single coronavirus death. He does allow mass Black Lives Matter protests to continue, however.
Meanwhile Washington D.C. has been stuck in “Phase 2” of reopening since June despite averaging only about one coronavirus death per day since then, and the list goes on.
Blue state leaders are the most likely to endlessly move the goalpost on reopening, and the impact is being felt by those unfortunate enough to live there.
As Unbiased America’s Kevin Ryan writes:
It may be the case that large shutdown restrictions that resulted in the highest unemployment rates were not as effective as smaller but well-targeted restrictions that aimed at protecting the most vulnerable populations. New York, for example, imposed very strict lockdown rules, but also famously forced nursing homes to admit COVID patients, a decision that has had deadly consequences.
Nevada, and Florida, were less impacted by their decisions than by their circumstances. Each are big tourist locations whose unemployment rates were badly impacted by the big drop in tourist. Still, Hawaii also had some of the strictest shutdown restrictions, and its economy is suffering disproportionately as a result.
The bottom line is that every state has had a different route through the pandemic. If this list reveals anything, it’s that a one-size-fits-all national lockdown would have had horrible consequences for many areas of the country whose demographics (and economies) would not have benefitted from stricter lockdowns (and vice versa).
The rankings are tabled below, and are defining a state as “red” or “blue” based on the political affiliation of the governor. While it’s generally the case that red states elect Republican governors and vice versa, there are some exceptions to keep in mind.
Massachusetts for example has a left-leaning voter base, and Democrats overwhelmingly dominate their House and Senate – but they have a Republican Governor. The same is true for Vermont. While both far-left states are counted as “red” by his method, that’s misleading when it comes to the policies they can reasonably push for and enact.
Kentucky is a case of the opposite, as are Montana and Kansas – states that almost always vote Republican in presidential elections and have Republican control over their legislature, but a Democrat governor.
Those exceptions aside, the trend is clear, that blue states top the list when it comes to increases in unemployment.