People in Trump areas three times more likely to die of Covid, says new analysis

‘An unvaccinated person is three times as likely to lean Republican as they are to lean Democrat’

Andrew Buncombe
Monday 06 December 2021 21:47
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Americans living in areas that supported Donald Trump in the last presidential election, are three times as likely to die from Covid-19, according to a new analysis.

In findings that will raise further questions as to why some sections of the country are far less willing to get vaccinated than others, the examination of 3,000 counties across the United States found people in places that voted for Mr Trump by at least 60 per cent had 2.7 times the death rate of counties that voted for Joe Biden by the same measure.

The analysis, carried out by National Public Radio, which examined the deaths of 100,000 people since 1 May 2021, echoes similar discoveries by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), which in September said counties that voted for Mr Trump had vaccination rates as much as 10 per cent lower than counties that voted for Mr Biden.

And they sit alongside a series of high-profile decisions by the governors of Republican states such as Florida and Texas, to block federal efforts to mandate people to use masks or take a vaccine.

In October, for instance, Texas governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order that prohibited any entity in the state, including private businesses, from requiring vaccinations for employees or their customers.

“The Covid-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defence against the virus, but should always remain voluntary and never forced,” he tweeted.

Across the United States, around 60 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated. States such as Vermont — where 74 per cent are fully vaccinated — and Massachusetts, 73, have the highest rates per capita.

The lowest is Louisiana, where just 49 per cent of people are fully vaccinated and which Mr Trump - who mocked the wearing of masks even though he caught Covid - beat Mr Biden by 58 points to 40. In Texas, which Mr Trump won 52 - 46, the vaccination rate is 55 per cent.

Data collated by Johns Hopkins University suggests as many as many as 789,071 Americans have lost their lives to Covid, and that as many as 2,000 people are dying each day, as new variants such as omicron spread around the world.

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Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arizona are among the states with the highest death rates per capita, according to a report by US News and World Report.

Data collated by the Centers for Disease control shows that unvaccinated people are 6 times more likely to contract Covid, and 14 times more likely to die from it, compared to in individuals who had been vaccinated.

In September, in an address from the White House, Mr Biden said American was experiencing  “a pandemic of the unvaccinated”.

He later said: “The vast majority of Americans are doing the right thing,” he said, condemning the 70m people who remained unvaccinated.

He added: “And to make matters worse, there are elected officials actively working to undermine with false information the fight against Covid-19. This is totally unacceptable.”

Kaiser Family Foundation vice president Liz Hamel told NPR it was clear that political affiliation was now the strongest indicator of someone’s vaccination status.

“An unvaccinated person is three times as likely to lean Republican as they are to lean Democrat,” she said.

“If I wanted to guess if somebody was vaccinated or not and I could only know one thing about them, I would probably ask what their party affiliation is.”

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