A study released this week found that while states with Democratic governors had the highest incidence and death rates from COVID-19 early in the pandemic, that trend reversed and states led by Republican governors surpassed those rates as the pandemic wore on, NBC News reports.
“From March to early June, Republican-led states had lower Covid-19 incidence rates compared with Democratic-led states. On June 3, the association reversed, and Republican-led states had higher incidence,” the study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Medical University of South Carolina showed.
“For death rates, Republican-led states had lower rates early in the pandemic, but higher rates from July 4 through mid-December,” the study found.
The researchers theorized that one reason for the change is that Democrats were in charge of states where people who had the virus first arrived in the country — but Republicans were less stringent about safeguards, which could have contributed to their states’ ultimately higher incidence and death rates.
The study, which which was published in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Preventive Medicine, examined Covid-19 “incidence, death, testing, and test positivity rates from March 15 through December 15, 2020,” when there were 16 million confirmed cases in the U.S. and 300,000 deaths. It focused on per-capita infection and death rates in the 26 GOP-led states and 24 Democratic-led states and Washington, D.C., and made statistical adjustments for issues such as population density.
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