Does a new study prove blue states fared worse during the pandemic than red states?

Thursday, April 21, 2022
By Austin Tannenbaum

A recent study by free market advocate Committee to Unleash Prosperity suggests that during the COVID-19 pandemic, Democrat-led states had worse economic outcomes while Republican-led states had worse health outcomes.

Comparing states' pre-pandemic unemployment with pandemic unemployment and adjusting for national-average industry composition, the study indicates that 9 of the top 10 economic performers had a Republican governor while the bottom 10 economic performers all had a Democratic governor.

In contrast, assessing states' age-adjusted excess mortality, 7 of 10 with the lowest death rates were led by Democratic governors while 8 of 10 with the highest death rates were led by Republican governors.

In a separate analysis of each state's pandemic performance, Politico similarly found that Democratic states, which embraced mask mandates and stay-at-home orders, averaged lower COVID-19 death rates, while Republican states, which imposed fewer pandemic restrictions, averaged less economic hardship. 

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