An article from the New York Times showed up on my newsfeed this morning. The headline of the article was…
Gee, what a shocker. Vaccines to protect people from getting COVID-19 or from getting as severely sick from the disease if they do get it, arrived in early 2020. But with the partisan attitudes toward them so different, a gap in Covid’s death toll quickly emerged. In brief, the gap in Covid’s death toll between red (Republican) and blue (Democratic) states in 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.
Counties where Trump received at least 70 percent of the vote have an even higher average Covid death toll than counties where Trump won at least 60 percent. 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.
The explanation for that growing gap is simple: the vaccines are remarkably effective at preventing severe Covid, and yet almost 40 percent of Republican adults remain unvaccinated, compared with about 10 percent of Democratic adults.
As the Times article points out, irrational fears about vaccine side effects have overwhelmed rational fears about a deadly virus. It stems from disinformation — promoted by right-wing media outlets, like Fox News, the Sinclair Broadcast Group, One America News Network, and online sources — that prey on distrust and fear mongering from those on the right, including Republican politicians.
The bottom line is that conservative Americans (Republicans) will probably continue to suffer an outsized amount of unnecessary illness and death.
Shouldn’t Donald Trump be held accountable?