This analysis of COVID-19 impact relative to partisan leadership of a state should be of little surprise.
Arkansas’s dollar-friendly laissez-faire approach to COVID-19 restrictions has consistently put us on the wrong end of measurements for cases, deaths and, now, vaccinations.
More analysis from The Conversation emphasizes what we’ve seen all along:
First, Republican governors were less strict on health policies (fake mask mandates, for example).
Results of this from periods last summer:
States with Republican governors had more COVID cases per 100,000.
The states had more excess deaths per 100,000.
States with more restrictive policies had fewer cases and deaths.
All of these findings, in conjunction with those of our own research, suggest that amid the current deep divide in U.S. politics, it’s possible to forecast public health outcomes based on whether a state is led by a Republican or a Democrat. For large chunks of time in 2020, states led by Republicans overall had higher average case and death rates from COVID-19, in part due to their state governments adopting less stringent policies to quell the virus. It is important to note, however, that not all states fit perfectly into this pattern. For example, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican, adopted relatively stricter measures and this likely led to better health outcomes.
You might say life or death decisions were made.