In what ways is ‘Red COVID’ a problem in Califonia?
According to the New York Times, the “Red COVID” phenomenon—the fact that death rates are higher in counties won by former President Trump in the 2020 presidential election than those won by President Joe Biden—was updated last week and is expected to continue.
It’s an illustration of how the country’s political divide has distorted people’s thinking, even when their own safety is at issue,” Times journalist David Leonhardt wrote in an article published in the New York Times. A tragedy, indeed, but one that could have been avoided.
“Red COVID” exists in California, but only after April 2021, when the COVID-19 vaccines are widely available in California.
Countries that supported Biden in the 2020 presidential election usually had greater vaccination rates than counties that supported Trump, and the COVID-19 vaccine is particularly effective in protecting against serious sickness and death…..
On the Y-axis, this graph plots the number of COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 residents in every California county during the duration of the whole epidemic, versus Trump’s margin of victory or defeat for each county.
While Trump lost by a large margin in San Francisco (72.6 percentage points), the reddest county in California is Lassen (51.5 percentage points), where he triumphed.
The overall trend is slightly positive, with death rates in red counties generally being higher. Biden won four of the five California counties with the highest fatality rates during the epidemic (Imperial, Tuolumne, Los Angeles, Inyo, and San Bernardino).
With strong Latino populations, these four counties show how the COVID-19 epidemic has a disproportionate effect on the state of California.
First-year mortality rates among Latinos were significantly higher than those of white residents because Latinos were more likely to be vital workers and had less room at home to self-isolate, according to Stanford researchers.
Between February 2020 and April 2021, Imperial, Los Angeles, Inyo, and San Bernardino had the highest death rates, which is when the vaccine was not yet available to all people.
No such thing as “Red COVID” existed in California during that time period – in fact, the trend line was slightly negative, with Trump-won counties experiencing higher death rates than those won by Biden.
After April 15, 2021, when the vaccine became available to all adults in California, everything changed.
As a result, the state has experienced two waves of infections and hospitalizations since then: the summer of 2021’s delta wave and the recent omicron wave.
Trump-won counties now have significantly higher death rates per capita than Biden-won counties. Trump won all nine California counties with the highest death rates between April 15, 2021, and February 21, 2022.
Republican voters’ anti-vaccine sentiment has been stoked by conservative officials like California Governor Gavin Newsom.
In the summer of last year, Newsom referred to “the Ron Johnsons of the globe.” “The world’s Marjorie Taylor Greenes. The world’s Tucker Carlson. They’re on my radar.
I pay attention. I’m paying attention. They are spreading false information. In other words, they are endangering people’s lives. We need to call out the misinformation that is killing people, whether they are doing it voluntarily or not.”