More Republicans with Covid-19

President Trump and his Republican supporters early on dismissed the covid-19 pandemic as a hoax. As a consequence, the pandemic and defenses against it became politicized. Nationwide, more Democrats than Republicans wore masks, maintained six-foot distancing, and avoided indoor close contacts.

And areas in the U.S. with the lowest vaccination rates tend to be heavily Republican. In U.S. counties that voted for Donald Trump, only 34 percent of people are fully vaccinated, according to New York Times data. In those that voted for Joe Biden, the share is 45 percent, and the share that has received at least one shot is higher.

The outcome is that sickness and death caused by the coronavirus is substantially higher in Republican-dominated areas than in Democratic-dominated areas. The per-capita rates of new COVID-19 cases and COVID-19 deaths became much higher in states with Republican governors by mid-summer and through 2020. The most significant difference between blue and red states occurred from late June to early August 2020. On August 5, the risk of death in red states was 1.8 times higher than in blue states. I have no figures for 2021, but I see no evidence that the trend has changed.

Donald Trump and his Republican base deserve censure for politicizing the pandemic and discouraging their followers from taking precautions. The higher death rate for Republicans calls for condemnation of the leaders who caused it.

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