COVID-19

Hot on my announcement that I've been asked to join the board of directors of Doctors For America, I have some less pleasant personal news to report as well: After dodging it for nearly 2 1/2 years and obsessively tracking cases & fatalities connected to it for most of that time, I finally tested positive for COVID-19 myself a few days ago.

I actually started feeling slightly off about two weeks ago, but I also happened to get my 4th vaccination shot (or 2nd booster, if you prefer) right around the same time, so for the first few days I just assumed I was having stronger-than-usual side effects from the shot.

By last Wednesday, it was clearly something more serious, but a home-based COVID test came back negative so I figured it was just a really nasty head cold + seasonal allergies. By Friday my wife was also experiencing symptoms and she ended up having a miserable Mother's Day weekend...while I was starting to recover.

Vanity Fair

Way back in March 2020, I launched my own COVID-19 case/fatality tracking spreadsheet project which mostly duplicates any number of existing sites, including one important addition:

  • I've added the Presidential partisan lean of each state as well as which party holds the governor's seat. This may seem incredibly inappropriate (and it is), but it's sadly necessary because Donald Trump has apparently decided to only grant his favor and any substantial assistance to states which a) voted for him and b) whose governors kiss his ass enough.

I took a lot of criticism at the time from people who got the vapors and claimed that I was the one "politicizing" the pandemic, which was laughable in the Trump era, where everything has been politicized by the Trump Administration.

Massachusetts

For awhile now, in spite of overwhelming evidence that COVID-19 deaths have been undercounted nationally by as much as 25%, skeptics and deniers have insisted that they're actually being overcounted because (as the now-cliche saying puts it) many are dying "with COVID but not of COVID."

Well, in Massachusetts at least, it looks like these folks may have finally gotten what they wanted...sort of. The following press release came out from the Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health a few days ago:

Department of Public Health updates COVID-19 death definition

This morning, George Conway (yes, that George Conway) asked a reasonable question on Twitter:

Has anyone estimated how many American lives would have been saved if the entire country had gotten vaccinated at the rates at which people in, say Vermont or Portugal, or at which registered Democrats, have gotten vaccinated?

This is a serious question.

— George Conway (@gtconway3d) February 3, 2022

Several people asked me to chime in.

Now, according to the CDC, Vermont had around 250 total COVID-19 deaths reported as of June 30th, 2021, and is now up to more than double that (516), which means they've had around 266 deaths out of 643,000 residents since 6/30/21, or 41.4 per 100K.

CMS Logo

Statement by CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure On the U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision on Vaccine Requirements

“The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is extremely pleased the Supreme Court recognized CMS’ authority to set a consistent COVID-19 vaccination standard for workers in facilities that participate in Medicare and Medicaid. CMS’ vaccine rule will cover 10.4 million health care workers at 76,000 medical facilities. Giving patients assurance on the safety of their care is a critical responsibility of CMS and a key to combatting the pandemic.

“Vaccines are proven to reduce the risk of severe disease. The prevalence of the virus and its ever-evolving variants in health care settings continues to increase the risk of staff contracting and transmitting COVID-19, putting their patients, families, and our broader communities at risk. And health care staff being unable to work because of illness or exposure to COVID-19 further strains the health care system and limits patient access to safe and essential care.

Class Action Movie

 

Back in early September, I wrote a post which gained quite a bit of attention in which I ran some back-of-the-envelope math to try and answer a question which is cold-hearted and tasteless...but which, nonetheless, many people across the political spectrum have been wondering: What will the real-world impact be on the 2022 midterm elections of the Red/Blue COVID divide?

There's a lot of factors which come into play here, including political messaging, narratives and the like, but let's be perfectly blunt: What people really want to know (whether they admit it or not...some have been cruder in posing the question than others) is whether more GOP or Dem voters are dying of COVID, and how much that will impact the midterms at the ballot box.

COVID-19

A few weeks back, one of my COVID "partisan lean" graphs was cited by David Leonhardt of the New York Times. This paragraph in question gained plenty of attention, and ended up being referenced by Nicole Wallace on Deadline: White House; Morning Joe; Raw Story and Paul Waldman of the Washington Post:

Since Delta began circulating widely in the U.S., Covid has exacted a horrific death toll on red America: In counties where Donald Trump received at least 70 percent of the vote, the virus has killed about 47 out of every 100,000 people since the end of June, according to Charles Gaba, a health care analyst. In counties where Trump won less than 32 percent of the vote, the number is about 10 out of 100,000.

COVID-19

A couple of weeks ago, one of my COVID "partisan lean" graphs was cited by David Leonhardt of the New York Times. This paragraph in question gained plenty of attention, and ended up being referenced by Nicole Wallace on Deadline: White House; Morning Joe; Raw Story and Paul Waldman of the Washington Post:

Since Delta began circulating widely in the U.S., Covid has exacted a horrific death toll on red America: In counties where Donald Trump received at least 70 percent of the vote, the virus has killed about 47 out of every 100,000 people since the end of June, according to Charles Gaba, a health care analyst. In counties where Trump won less than 32 percent of the vote, the number is about 10 out of 100,000.

COVID-19

I promise this is the last one of these I'll post this week!

The first known U.S. case of COVID-19 has been confirmed to have occurred sometime in December 2019 (the first known U.S. death was on February 6th, 2020).

Assuming the first case was ~December 15th or so, it was roughly 325 days from then until the Presidential Election on November 3rd, 2020, or a little under 11 months.

It's been 327 days from Election Day through September 26, 2021.

In other words, almost exactly as much time has passed in the post-election phase of the COVID pandemic as in the pre-election phase.

COVID-19

A month or so ago I was inspired by a fellow wonk named Christopher Ingraham of The Why Axis to plot out COVID vaccinations, cases and deaths via bar graphs instead of my usual scatter plot graphs.

This morning my most recent update of this analysis was linked to by David Leonhardt of the New York Times.

Today I'm posting updated versions of all three, with some important data/methodology updates:

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