Contrary to Media Narrative – Blue States Account for Most Coronavirus Deaths
Listen to the media and you’d get the impression that Republican states are the ones being ravaged by the coronavirus.
“More Republicans will die than Democrats” from the virus declared the Washington Post’s faux-conservative Jennifer Rubin. She said states like Texas, Arizona, and Arkansas—are “paying the price” for their “arrogant and reckless disregard of expert advice.”
Paul Krugman, who somehow once won a Nobel Prize, says “The Northeast, with its largely Democratic governors, has been appropriately cautious about reopening . . . the really bad news is coming from Republican-controlled states, especially Arizona, Florida and Texas, which rushed to reopen and, while some are now pausing, haven’t reversed course.”
Krugman and Rubin are light on data – and for a reason. If northeastern states like New Jersey and New York were their own individual countries, both would have the distinction of having more coronavirus deaths per capita than any other country on the planet.
As Just the News’ Daniel Payne writes:
According to the data-gathering website Worldometers, 33% of deaths in the U.S.—just under 61,000—come from three Democratic states: New York, New Jersey and California. All three are headed by Democratic governors, and the statehouses of all three are controlled entirely by Democratic politicians.
Democrats have thus far skirted around those uncomfortable figures, with the messaging out of the party’s convention this week being one of how the Trump administration has failed to properly manage the pandemic.
A range of policies appear to have had varied effects elsewhere. California, another Democratic stronghold, has also been under strict lockdown measures for months, and its adjusted death rate is comparatively low at number 28 in the nation. South Dakota, whose Republican governor has famously refused to institute the lockdown measures of most other states, is even better at number 39.
Furthermore, as Just Facts’ James Agresti notes:
- New York is 2.7 times greater than in Arizona, 3.8 times greater than in Florida, 4.8 times greater than in Texas, and 8.4 times greater than in Arkansas.
- New Jersey is 2.8 times greater than in Arizona, 4.0 times greater than in Florida, 5.1 times greater than in Texas, and 8.9 times greater than in Arkansas.
While, yes, states like New York and New Jersey now have few coronavirus deaths per day, that’s because the virus already ran its course.
People are either too dumb to see this or too partisan to acknowledge it, but states that handled COVID poorly were always going to eventually have lower daily deaths than states that handled it well. The only thing that matters is total deaths per capita. It's in the damn graph: pic.twitter.com/gFbV1yAyo5
— Noam Blum (@neontaster) August 17, 2020
A large reason blue states (or states with Democrat governors) have more coronavirus deaths is because they adopted the disastrous policy of putting coronavirus patients in nursing homes (the justification being that this would free up space in hospitals). It was well publicized that New York’s Andrew Cuomo adopted this sort of policy, but so did New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, California, and others. Cuomo himself said he wouldn’t put his mother in a nursing home, and Pennsylvania’s Health Secretary took their mother out of one ahead of the policy’s implementation.
It doesn’t take a virologist to predict what would happen as a result. As ProPublica notes in their June 16th report excoriating Cuomo’s policy: “In the weeks that followed the March 25 order, COVID-19 tore through New York state’s nursing facilities, killing more than 6,000 people — about 6% of its more than 100,000 nursing home residents.” Meanwhile, the Republican County Executive of Rensselaer County rightly saw Cuomo’s advice as absurd and defied it. The only nursing home run by the county, Van Renssealaer, saw a total of zero coronavirus deaths.
Many blue states have more coronavirus deaths per capita than Sweden, commonly cited as a cautionary tale because they never locked down or closed schools (but did take measures to protect the elderly). It takes a special level of incompetence to do worse than the country that did next-to-nothing, but I suppose that is what happens when Democrat governors all decided it was a good idea to mix senior citizens in nursing homes with coronavirus patients.