If you listen to the media, you would think that Republican states are experiencing the highest percentage of Covid-19 deaths, and that this is because Republican governors were not severe enough in their lockdowns or because they lifted lockdown restrictions too early. States like Georgia, Florida, and Texas have routinely been accused of botching the handling of the pandemic and causing unnecessary death.

Based on my limited knowledge of some stats, this narrative caused my bologna detector to go off, so I decided to do a little research. I wanted to see if there is any correlation between the severity of a state’s lockdown, political parties, and the number of Covid-19 deaths. Given the media narrative, I expected to find Republican states with non-severe lockdowns topping the list, such as Florida, Texas, and Georgia. What I found is that the truth is quite the opposite. Democratic-run states with more severe lockdown restrictions top the list of Covid-19 deaths per capita.

When treating NYC separately from NY state (as most data centers do because of the unique nature of NYC), I found that 9 of the 10 states with the highest death toll per 100,000 residents are blue states, not red states. And 8 out of those 9 blue states ranked in the top half of the lockdown severity ranking.[1] Of the top 26 states with the highest death percentage, 15 fell in the category of being the most stringent on lockdowns. Not only does this show us that there is no direct correlation between the severity of lockdown and deaths, but it also shows us that the spreading of Covid-19 cannot be blamed on Republican governors.

Democratic New Jersey has the second highest death rate per 100,000 people, and is ranked as having the second most severe lockdowns. Why isn’t the media focusing on New Jersey? Why aren’t they pointing to New Jersey as evidence that lockdown restrictions are not the answer to this health crisis? That doesn’t fit their narrative.

Why doesn’t the media call out Republican Massachusetts (the only Republican-run state in the top 10)? It has the fourth highest death rate and the fourth most severe lockdowns. That doesn’t fit their narrative.

Instead, they focus on Florida, Georgia, and Texas – states that actually rank pretty good on the death list .Georgia ranks #16, Florida #25, and Texas #32. Texas is particularly interesting because it is also ranked #6 in lockdown severity. Why doesn’t the media point to Texas as evidence that lockdowns work? While Texas would fit their narrative about lockdowns, it doesn’t fit their narrative that Republicans are responsible for Covid-19 deaths.

Ironically, while the media lambastes Republican states for their handling of the pandemic, they praise the governor of NY for his handling of the crisis despite the fact that NYC ranks #1 in death and NY state ranks #7. If you don’t detect a bit of media bias at this point, your bologna detector probably isn’t working right (or perhaps, you’ve turned it off). The media bias is both obvious and appalling. Unfortunately, the media cannot be trusted anymore. They have ceased reporting the news and asking the hard questions, and have become propaganda centers for their own political viewpoints. What’s the lesson here? Think for yourself. Do your own research.

See the data for yourself:

State Death Rate per 100,000 Governor’s Party Lockdown Severity
(1 = most severe, 50 = least severe)
New York City 279.6 Democrat 22
New Jersey 177.1 Democrat 2
Connecticut 123.5 Democrat 16
Massachusetts 123.3 Republican 4
Rhode Island 94.8 Democrat 15
Louisiana 79.7 Democrat 31
New York 79.1 Democrat
Michigan 64.1 Democrat 23
Delaware 59.9 Democrat 11
Illinois 59.6 Democrat 24
Maryland 56.9 Republican 13
Pennsylvania 55.6 Democrat 3
Mississippi 50.1 Republican 39
Arizona 45.8 Republican 8
Indiana 43.3 Republican 33
Georgia 33.2 Republican 37
Colorado 31.5 Democrat 5
New Hampshire 30.2 Republican 17
Alabama 29.8 Republican 36
New Mexico 29 Democrat 10
South Carolina 28.8 Republican 43
Minnesota 28.7 Democrat 25
Ohio 28.2 Republican 28
Florida 27.1 Republican 30
Iowa 26.2 Republican 46
Nevada 25 Democrat 27
Virginia 24.4 Democrat 12
California 21.1 Democrat 1
Washington 19.8 Democrat 21
Missouri 19.3 Republican 40
North Carolina 17.1 Democrat 7
Texas 17 Republican 6
Nebraska 16.4 Republican 38
Kentucky 15.6 Democrat 26
Wisconsin 15.4 Democrat 49
Tennessee 14.2 Republican 35
South Dakota 13.8 Republican 50
Arkansas 13.2 Republican 42
North Dakota 13 Republican 41
Oklahoma 12.6 Republican 48
Kansas 11.2 Democrat 34
Maine 8.9 Democrat 20
Vermont 8.9 Republican 9
Utah 8.6 Republican 47
Idaho 8.3 Republican 45
Oregon 6.8 Democrat 19
West Virginia 5.7 Republican 18
Montana 4.3 Democrat 29
Wyoming 4.3 Republican 44
Alaska 2.7 Republican 32
Hawaii 1.8 Democrat 14


[1]Death counts are taken from the Centers for Disease Control COVID Data Tracker as of July 26, available from https://www.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#cases. Lockdown severity ratings are taken from Wallethub, “States with the Fewest Coronavirus Restrictions”; available from https://wallethub.com/edu/states-coronavirus-restrictions/73818/; Internet; accessed 26 July 2020.