This article is co-authored with Eric Tyberg, a retired IT executive and consultant residing in Lincoln, California. Originally from Falun, Wisconsin, he rose through the ranks at IBM and formed his own consulting business when IBM downsized.
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With the current reports of COVID-19 outbreaks in “Republican-leaning states,” which are more likely to open sooner (if they closed at all), and reflect less social distancing and mask-wearing than “Democratic-leaning states,” we thought it was time to conduct a data-based examination of these two sets of states. You may recall that we earlier compared “Republican-Leaning counties to “Democratic-leaning counties” and found that the former were exhibiting higher rates of case increases than the latter.
So, we aggregated the 178 million residents of the 21 “Democratic-leaning states” (the 20 states that Clinton carried in the 2016 presidential election and the District of Columbia) and the 150 million residents of “Republican-leaning states” (the 30 states that Trump carried in the 2016 presidential election) into two separate groups. We then summed the total COVID-19 case counts for each group on five dates, April 1st, May 1st, June 1st, July 1st and July 18th. The graph at the top of this article reveals that in comparing these two aggregated populations from April 1, 2020 to each of the subsequent dates, the Republican-leaning states are not only experiencing a higher rate of increase than the Democratic-leaning states, but the rate is accelerating.
As of April 1st, residents of Republican-leaning states registered far fewer COVID-19 cases than did residents of Democratic-leaning states. This initial gap has not only eroded, but as of July 18th, the number of cases in Republican-leaning states now exceeds the number in Democratic-leaning states. On April 1st the Republican-leaning states reported a total of 55,440 COVID-19 cases and the Democratic-leaning states reported 144,393. By July 18th, the 30 Republican-leaning states reported a total of 1,987,556, which is 16 percent higher (272,898 more cases), than the reported total for the 21 Democratic-leaning states, 1,714,658.
The Republican-leaning states are not only leading in cases. On April 1st, their overall case rate per 100,000 people was 37, far below the overall rate for the Democratic ones, 81. By July 1st, the Republican-leaning states surpassed the Democratic-leaning states, 822 to 816. As of July 18th, they have surged far ahead: for every 100,000 residents, 1,325 have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Republican-leaning states vs. 963 in the Democratic ones.
By their actions, the Republican-leaning states have taken the lead in the number of COVID-19 cases. The push to re-open (or to have never closed at all) and the disdain both for wearing masks and practicing social distancing are the driving forces behind their accelerating increases in cases and case rates. Contributing to these actions was misleading information televised by Fox News, especially broadcasts by Sean Hannity.
These 30 states have certainly done their part for the man who wins at everything. We look forward to seeing him boast about their achievement from the Rose Garden, perhaps in an interview with Sean, who could conclude it with a rousing “Win one for the Twitterer.” Were Ronald Reagan able to look on, it would be in shame.