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'Trump counties' had over 3 times more COVID deaths than 'Biden counties' in October, according to a new report

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People display signs protesting mask and vaccine mandates during the Kentucky Freedom Rally at the capitol building on August 28, 2021 in Frankfort, Kentucky.
People display signs protesting mask and vaccine mandates during the Kentucky Freedom Rally at the capitol building on August 28, 2021 in Frankfort, Kentucky. Jon Cherry/Getty Images
  • "Trump counties" had over 3 times more COVID deaths than "Biden counties" in October.

  • It's probably because Republicans and Democrats have taken the vaccine at different rates.

  • Prior to the availability of vaccines, there was not a consistent partisan correlation in deaths.

People are now dying from COVID-19 at a rate 3 times higher in counties where former President Donald Trump won at least 60% of the vote than in counties where President Joe Biden won a similar percentage, according to a New York Times analysis of the data.

And that partisan gap - which didn't emerge until the widespread availability of vaccines in the spring of 2021 - has consistently widened over the last 5 months.

The gap, according to the Times, accelerated at its fastest rate yet in October, coming out to 25 COVID deaths per 100,000 residents in counties where Trump won more than 60% of the vote, versus 7.8 deaths per 100k in counties where Biden did the same.

A late October poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation's COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor found that 39% of Republican adults remain unvaccinated, while just 10% of Democratic adults said the same thing.

It's a stark departure from the beginning of 2021, when the COVID death rate in so-called "Trump counties" was only slightly higher than in "Biden counties," and where the death rate was highest in counties that neither candidate swept overwhelming.

Prior to vaccination, both Republican-affiliated groups like older, white, rural voters and Democratic-affiliated groups like Black and low-income voters in urban areas had risk factors that could lead to higher likelihoods of death, including attitudes about masking and the effects of racism on health outcomes.

The Times has highlighted this same divide before, finding the emergence of correlation between vaccination rates and case rates in June and underscoring the role that right-wing media is playing in keeping down vaccination rates among conservatives in September.

It's possible that the partisan gap could be hitting it's peak, according to the Times. That's because of the potential forthcoming availability of a "COVID-19 pill" antiviral treatment that's been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death by 89% in high-risk patients, as well as the build-up of natural immunity in more conservative areas.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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