The gap in COVID’s death toll between red and blue America has grown faster over the past month than at any previous 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.
Some conservative writers have tried to claim that the gap may stem from regional differences in weather or age, but those arguments fall apart under scrutiny. (If weather or age were a major reason, the pattern would have begun to appear last year.) The true explanation is straightforward: The vaccines are remarkably effective at preventing severe COVID, and almost 40% of Republican adults remain unvaccinated, compared with about 10% of Democratic adults.
Charles Gaba, a Democratic health care analyst, has pointed out that the gap is also evident at finer gradations of political analysis: Counties where Trump received at least 70% of the vote have an even higher average COVID death toll than counties where Trump won at least 60%.
As a result, COVID deaths have been concentrated in counties outside of major metropolitan areas. Many of these are in red states, while others are in red parts of blue or purple states, like Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Virginia and even California.
Source: The Boston Globe