USA: Covid-19 killed poor and Trump voters at increased rates

USA: Covid-19 killed poor and Trump voters at increased rates
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Image: Angela Weiss / AFP

Covid-19 killed the poor and disadvantaged in the USA, and to an increased degree also the Trump voters of 2020. The poorest and socially weakest states, such as Peru or Russia, had Covid-19 death rates, showed a specialist journal at the end of last week “Lancet” published study. Thomas Bollyky (Council of Foreign Relations/Washington DC) and his co-authors have carried out the statistically most comprehensive review of the Covid 19 pandemic in the USA to date. “Although the United States played a leading role in the development of effective Covid-19 vaccines and provided large quantities early on, the United States ranked only 66th in an international comparison of states and regions for vaccination coverage,” it said in the introduction to the study.

The scientists looked at the differences in infections and mortality from Covid-19 by US state, ethnic group and social situation. The resulting variability was enormous.

In the observation period from January 1, 2020 to July 31, 2022, the USA had a total Covid-19 mortality rate of 372 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. Denmark, for example, had a mortality from Covid-19 of 115 per 100,000 inhabitants, Switzerland one of 155/100,000, Germany reported 170 deaths from SARS-CoV-2 per 100,000 inhabitants, as the authors state.

In the US, only the US states of Vermont (111 Covid-19 deaths/100,000 population), Utah (157/100,000) and Washington (193/100,000) came close to the numbers of the well-performing European states. The poorest US state, Mississippi, was just as bad as Russia (537/100,000) or Bulgaria (539/100,000) with 551 Covid-19 victims per 100,000 inhabitants. Only Peru was significantly higher with a Covid-19 mortality rate of 631/100,000.

A national comparison of the USA showed differences in the Covid-19 mortality rates of up to five times or more: If the data were standardized, i.e. made comparable according to population, demographics, etc., Hawaii had the lowest mortality with 147 Covid-19 deaths , then New Hampshire (215/100,000) and Maine (218/100,000). The US state of New Mexico came last with 521 Covid-19 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, the District of Columbia (Washington DC; 526/100,000 and Arizona (581/100,000).

Covid-19 mortality higher among Trump voters

“What is clear from our study is that Covid-19 has created local inequalities based on ethnicity, health care disparities and partisan (Republican, Democrat; n.d.) issues and created a ‘syndemic’ – a combination of regional factors working together to increase the disease burden of this pandemic and the likelihood of ill outcomes. This combination of racial inequality and policy-driven divergent policies explains in large part why the US has struggled so badly with the pandemic,” explained lead author Bollyky.

Better access to quality health care has resulted in fewer infections and deaths across states. The share of public spending on health care per capita had no significant effect. While the question of whether a Republican or a Democrat was the governor of a state did not show a statistically significant difference, the voting behavior of citizens in the US presidential election in 2020 did: the higher the share of votes for Donald Trump , the higher was the Covid-19 mortality. The differences were statistically significant. On the one hand, Trump had refused effective measures, on the other hand, he had occasionally propagated bizarre advice, such as the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine.

Source: Nachrichten

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