Republican States Have Higher Covid Rates than Democratic States

Republicans are simply more American…

by Eric Zuesse

On March 9th, the American Journal of Preventive Medicine headlined “Associations Between Governor Political Affiliation and COVID-19 Cases, Deaths, and Testing in the U.S.” and reported:

From March to early June, Republican-led states had lower COVID-19 incidence rates compared with Democratic-led states. On June 3, the association reversed, and Republican-led states had higher incidence (RR=1.10, 95% PI=1.01, 1.18). This trend persisted through early December. For death rates, Republican-led states had lower rates early in the pandemic, but higher rates from July 4 (RR=1.18, 95% PI=1.02, 1.31) through mid-December.

Though that is a peer-reviewed ‘scientific’ journal, it isn’t actually scientific, because that study was very poorly conceived and it measured and indicated nothing that is meaningfully interpretable. For examples: what happens if a Republican state has a Democratic Governor, or if a Democratic state has a Republican Governor? The Governor is an unreliable indicator of whether the state is Republican or Democratic. Vermont, one of the most Democratic states, had the lowest Covid-disease rates in the country for many months during 2020, and was among the lowest for the entire year, but had a Republican Governor. Furthermore, that Governor was strictly data-driven and non-ideological in his Covid-19 policies, and so his Party-label meant nothing in this regard. Louisiana was one of the most solidly Republican states but had a Democratic Governor. Both Vermont’s Republican Governor Phil Scott and Louisiana’s Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards applied science-driven — which is to say Democratic — Covid-19 policies, but whereas the adherence to those non-ideological policies was high in Vermont, it was low in Louisiana, because the public in Louisiana are very conservative. As-of today, Vermont has the nation’s 2nd-lowest rate of Covid-19 disease, behind only Hawaii (which is another heavily Democratic state). Louisiana has the 27th-lowest rate — it is slightly worse than the U.S. national average. To track gubernatorial control as if it were a stand-in for what a state’s actual on-the-ground, effectuated, Covid-19 policies were, is unreliable, untrustworthy, unscientific, misleading. If it is knowledgeable, it is propagandistic, and if it is ignorant, it is incompetent.

The following states voted for Biden but had Republican Governors: Arizona, Maryland, Massachusetts, NH, Vermont. And the following states voted for Trump but had Democratic Governors: Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, NC. Some of those states are in political transition, but generally the Presidential vote is a more reliable indicator of what the predominant Party is than is the gubernatorial vote.

A much more reliable method would be to rank all 51 U.S. states and the District of Columbia for total Covid-19 disease-rates throughout the epidemic, and then to mark each state as being either “B” for “Biden” or “T” for “Trump” in the 2020 U.S. Presidential vote, and then to calculate the average Covid-19 cases-rate for the “B” states versus the “T” states. There were 27 B states and 24 T states (including DC). This, too, will be only approximate, but it will be far more reliable than that ‘scientific’ journal’s method, which likewise was only an approximation. Here are those steps, carried out, as-of the date March 14th:

14 March 2021, 27B, 24T

Tot Cases/1M pop

1 Hawaii B

2 Vermont B

3 Maine B

4 Oregon B

5 Washington B

6 NH B

7 DC B

8 MD B

9 Mich B

10 VA B

11 WV T

12 PA B

13 CO B

14 Alaska T

15 CT B

16 NC T

17 OH T

18 Missouri T

19 Mass B

20 Min B

21 NM B


22 NY B

23 CA B

24 FL T

25 DE B

26 KY T

27 LA T

28 NJ B

29 TX T

30 MT T

31 WY T

32 IL B

33 NV B

34 GA B

35 WI B

36 ID T

37 IN T

38 MS T

39 Alabama T

40 KS T

41 SC T

42 Nebr T

43 Ark T

44 OK T

45 AZ B

46 TN B

47 IA T

48 UT T

49 RI B

50 SD T

51 ND T

1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10+12+13+15+19+20+21+22+23+25+28+32+33+34+35+45+46+49=527/27=19.5 for B

11+14+16+17+18+24+26+27+29+30+31+36+37+38+39+40+41+42+43+44+47+48+50+51=799/24=33.3 for T

The states that were majority Democratic in 2020, as measured by the Presidential election, averaged 19.5, whereas the Republican states averaged 33.3.

The 20th state was Minnesota, and its rate was 88,019 cases per million, which compared to the U.S. average of 90,764 — it was barely better than the U.S. average.

The 33rd state was Nevada, and its rate was 97,094, which wasn’t much worse than the U.S. average.

On that measure alone, Democratic states were only moderately better than Republican states. However, all of the best 10 states (#s 1-10) were Democratic, and 13 of the worst 16 states (#s 36-51) were Republican. States 11-35, the states that weren’t at either extreme, were West Virginia through Wisconsin. West Virginia had 75,412, and Wisconsin had 97,788. West Virginia voted 68.62% for Trump, which was the nation’s 2nd-highest to Wyoming’s #1 for Trump, 69.94%.

Rhode Island was by far the Covid-worst of all Democratic states, and had 123,189 cases per million, which was exceeded only by the two Republican states of North Dakota’s 132,459 and South Dakota’s 129,420. At the very opposite end, here were the three best states: Hawaii 19,923, Vermont 26,760, and 34,858 Maine. 

Ideology had a clear impact upon the results, but the U.S. is the only country other than small countries which have less than 11 million population, that has a cases-rate which is among the 8 worst among all of the world’s 221 countries; 90,394 for the U.S., versus a global average of only 15,399. America ranks #214 out of 221 countries. Hawaii’s 19,459 would rank Hawaii between #130 Martinique’s 18,472, and #131 Uruguay’s 20,141. All U.S. states are worse than #130 Martinique. Vietnam has 98 million people and a cases-per-million rate of only 26. America’s cases-rate of 90,394 is 3,477 times worse. China’s cases-rate is 63. America’s is 1,435 times worse than that. No U.S. state has avoided failure on Covid-19, the biggest domestic-policy challenge of our times. Whereas Democrats have clearly been better than Republicans on this, all U.S. governments have failed on it, as compared to the rest of the world.

If America is #1, it is #1 as the only non-tiny nation that has a stratospherically high rate of Covid-19 disease. Republicans are simply more American on that than Democrats are.

The only country that has a population of 10 million which has an even more stratospherically bad performance on Covid-19 is Czechia, with a population of 10,722,872 and a Covid-19 disease-rate of 129,826, which is the world’s third worst of all 221 countries. Other than that, the only country with a population of more than 2 million (2,079,138) that is even worse than America is Slovenia: 96,123. America, with a population of 332,357,370, towers as the world’s Covid-19 capital, at #214, 90,394. It is the world’s failed giant on this disease.

On March 10th, CNN did a news-report on that trashy journal-article, without noticing that it is trashy. The report headlined with only the journal-article’s anti-Republican finding, “Covid case and death rates were higher in GOP-led states in second half of 2020, study finds”. Propagandists know that far more people read a headline than read the article that is being headlined. That ‘news’-report was skillful propaganda, building upon fake ‘science’. This is the way ‘news’-media are in a fake ‘democracy’.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.