120 day COVID Followup on Red (and Blue) States

This follows up a post I submitted on 10/19/2020.
Once again, I’m featuring data from Dan Goodspeed’s phenomenal moving-graphic website listing cases per million, which equalizes differences in state population. Do check it out, it is incredible! Once again, the top “lucky” 13, worst states in COVID infection rates:

—— CASES PER MILLION (thousands)—— (numbers in parentheses are their rank in October)
1.NORTH DAKOTA (1)—–127
2.SOUTH DAKOTA (5)—–120
4.ARIZONA (10)————108
5.TENNESSEE (9)———106
8.ARKANSAS (6)———-102

All but one (Rhode Island) is a Republican-led state with a Republican governor and/or Republican legislature. Wisconsin has a Democratic Governor, but a Republican legislature that has blocked nearly every COVID restriction he has enacted. So 12 of the 13 riskiest states to pick up a Coronavirus infection in are Republican managed states.

Additionally, 21 of the top 25 for infections per million inhabitants, here 4 months later, are still Republican states (Wisconsin could be added as #22 “Republican-controlled”)…so only 3 Democratic controlled states are in that worst 25.

Twenty-one solidly Democratic states are all in the lowest 25 for COVID cases per million citizens (2 other states are considered “even” as far as Repub/Dem control). These political determinations are taken from the Cook Partisan Voting Index.

So although some states rankings may have changed, again 4 months later just as in October, 12 of the worst 13 states for infections are Republican states and once again 21 of the worst 25 are as well. A few states may have swapped positions, but Republican controlled states still have the worst results.

As of February 17, as reported by AARP, 35 states (and Puerto Rico and D.C.), still have mask mandates. Four, all Republican states, have just lifted their mask requirements recently: Iowa, Montana, Mississippi, and North Dakota. South Dakota’s Republican Governors Krist Noem, has refused to ever implement mandatory masking in her state, as have Arizona and Florida’s governors.

Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee -all Republican states-have had no statewide mask order for some time. Kansas has one but the AARP notes it is not at all enforced and widely ignored.

When Iowa’s Republican Governor Kim Reynolds recently lifted their mandatory masking order, local businesses in many cities complained they now have a hard time getting customers to abide by their own mask requirements, as many customers now state “there’s no law to make me wear one, so you can’t make me”… and many are now eschewing mask wearing. The CDC has made a statement that loosening state-wide mask requirements at this time is a mistake. Although infection rates are decreasing from Fall 2020 peaks, they are still significantly high, and with new COVID variants in the mix it is risky to lighten up now, just when things are improving and vaccination has not been widespread enough to have an effect yet.

None of the Democratic States have let up on their statewide mandatory masking orders, most of which were in place by last spring and summer, while many Republican states waited until late summer even fall to finally mandate masking.

The Republican state-led COVID infection rates havent changed much since fall and masking still largely reflects a huge political divide.

For another look at the COVID DATA in 2021 here are the highest ten States COVID #’s in total cases (infections) and deaths as of 2/20/21.

———-POPULATION-(millions)——CASES-(millions)———— DEATHS
NEW YORK—–20————————-1.6————————46,000
NO. CAROLINA-10———————–.84————————11,000

This data is taken from GOOGLE CORONAVIRUS BY STATE.

Since the beginning last spring, the states with the largest populations have led in the top 5-6 spots in cases and deaths as would be expected. These larger states have diverse populations and masking can vary widely by region despite state-wide orders. The numbers are staggering. We have become numb to the fact that the US is within a day or so of exceeding 500,000 deaths from COVID-19 and the larger states have seen 10’s of thousands of their citizens die.

The US overall, and individual state’s response to complying with mask wearing has been a bit late and sporadic at best as compared to other countries.
I made a detailed comparison at the end of 2020 in 12/31/20 CORONOVIRUS UPDATE-US vs.the World.

We could have saved 100,000’s of thousands of lives, and could save tens of thousands still in the coming months if nation-wide… we all wore masks.

“There should be no stigma attached to wearing a mask…And even among age groups that are least likely to either contract this disease or die from it, you could be a carrier. So I think what we all need to do is say, ‘OK, I’m going to take responsibility not only for myself but for others.’”
Mitch McConnell

YES, Mitch said this months ago! I may be thrilled we Dumped Trump and Ditched Mitch (at least as Senate Majority leader), but you gotta give credit where credit is due, and Senator McConnell has been on the intelligent-science based side of mask-wearing from the beginning. He’s an old high-risk male, and despite his perennial obstructionist political stance, he isn’t the least bit stupid.

McConnell and a few other Republicans like Mike DeWine (governor of Ohio) and many others to their credit, took the virus and the SCIENCE seriously from the beginning. This did not have to be a partisan divide, but too many, Republican governors especially, either caved into the anti-science sentiments of their conservative, religious, Republican, state constituents and/or were right there with them in their denial of reality. It was their own fellow citizens who paid the price.

end religion now





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  1. Pingback: Florida and COVID- a stupid, sad tale. – Dispatches from the New Enlightenment

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