Why are COVID-19 death rates so much higher in states with Democratic governors?


That’s the provocative question raised by James R. Rogers in a recent peice at the Law & Liberty blog:

When controlling for the differences in population across states, the number of deaths from coronavirus is over three times higher in states with Democratic governors than in states with Republican governors. As of Sunday, April 26, states with Republican governors have experienced 57.53 coronavirus deaths per million of population, states with Democratic governors have 179.74 deaths per million of population. Even excluding the state of New York as an extreme outlier, states with Democratic governors have 138.58 deaths per million from coronavirus, still over twice as many coronavirus deaths per million as deaths in states with Republican governors.

Rogers doesn’t proffer an answer, but he does note the irony:

If you listen to Democrats and their cheerleaders in the mainstream media, Democratic politicians are just plain smarter and more caring than Republican politicians. That the death rate from the coronavirus is three times higher in states with Democratic governors than in states with Republican governors challenges this tendentious narrative.

The mainstream media is critical of Trump and his response to the coronavirus threat. But the last four months is not the proper measure for assessing anti-pandemic policy. Andrew Cuomo has been Governor of New York since 2011. He has had that entire time to prepare his state for a pandemic. Yet his state’s death rate is almost ten times the national average. If Cuomo were a Republican governor, this number would not be grounds for proffering his name as a presidential candidate, it would be grounds for impeachment for nonfeasance.

Jon Guze / Director of Legal Studies

Jon Guze is the Director of Legal Studies at the John Locke Foundation. Before joining the John Locke Foundation, Jon practiced law in Durham, North Carolina for over twent...

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