Republican US counties saw more COVID-19 deaths | CIDRAP

Majority-Republican counties experienced 73 more COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 people than their Democratic counterparts, suggests an observational study today in Health Affairs.

A team led by University of Maryland researchers analyzed COVID-19 death and vaccination data and 2020 presidential election returns from 3,109 US counties from Jan 1, 2020, to Oct 31, 2021. The researchers hypothesized that partisan differences in attitudes toward the pandemic and compliance with local mask, physical distancing, and vaccine policies would lead to differences in death rates.

“Political ideology has long been known to affect health-related behaviors, attitudes, and risk perception,” the researchers wrote. “At the root of conservative ideologies is the notion that health is an individual responsibility that government should have little to no power in regulating or intervening. Conversely, liberal ideologies have often promoted the role of government to enforce stricter public health regulations to protect the health of citizens over the right of individuals to make their own choices.”

 

Source: Republican US counties saw more COVID-19 deaths | CIDRAP