New COVID Stats Illustrate a Widening Divide

Death toll is significantly higher in red America versus blue America
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2021 9:50 AM CST
New COVID Stats Illustrate a Widening Divide
A syringe is prepared with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic at the Reading Area Community College in Reading, Pa.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

An analysis by David Leonhardt in the New York Times has the provocative headline "US COVID Deaths Get Even Redder." And the key stats he cites illustrate the point:

  • "In October, 25 out of every 100,000 residents of heavily Trump counties died from COVID, more than three times higher than the rate in heavily Biden counties (7.8 per 100,000). October was the fifth consecutive month that the percentage gap between the death rates in Trump counties and Biden counties widened."

In fact, the gap in deaths between red and blue America grew at its fastest pace ever in October. Leonhardt dismisses the idea that age, weather, or other regional factors are at play, because this wide gap didn't surface last year. It only arose after vaccines became available, and he chalks that up to another key stat: "Almost 40 percent of Republican adults remain unvaccinated, compared with about 10 percent of Democratic adults." However, Leonhardt adds that the partisan gap may start shrinking again, in part because of new antiviral treatments that, in tandem with the vaccines, could turn COVID into a "manageable virus" all over. Also in play is that red America may have built up more "natural immunity" by now because opposition to vaccine and mask mandates generally caused more cases in those areas. Read the full analysis. (More COVID-19 stories.)

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