COVID-19

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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.

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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:

COVID-19

Two weeks 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.

Today I'm posting updated versions of all three, with two major data updates:

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As I've been arguing for well over a year now, the COVID-19 pandemic was utterly politicized by the Trump Administration right from the start...and the vaccination effort has similarly been completely politicized by the Republican Party since the moment President Biden took office as well.

Aside from the massive public health fallout, this fact has all sorts of poltiical implications as well, of course. Most of those involve pundits speculating about "the blame game" and so on; will voters in states like Florida and Texas blame their governors for doing everything possible to stymie reasonable pandemic safety measures such as mask mandates, or will they blame the Biden Administration for...I don't know, not tying people to a chair and manually forcing the COVID vaccine into their arms?

For weeks now, however, people have been asking me an even more basic, crass question about the impact of political tribalism on the 2022 midterm election:

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For the past couple of months now, most of my COVID scatter-plot charts...whether measuring vaccination rates, new case rates or new death rates...have been based primarily on partisan lean. That is, at both the state and county levels, I've been using the percent of the 2020 Presidential vote won by Donald Trump as the basis for comparison.

I've also looked at vaccination rates by other criteria, of course: Population density, urban vs. rural status, education level and median household income levels...but none of these have had nearly as high a correlation as sheer partisan lean has (although I haven't checked any of those in over a month; perhaps the situation has changed by now).

COVID-19

I've gotten a lot of attention for my COVID "scatter plot bubble graphs" over the summer, laying out the COVID vaccination and case/death rates across every county nationally (well, mostly; Nebraska has stopped posting county-level data entirely, and Florida has only been posting county-level case data, not deaths, since June).

Data visualization is a tricky thing, though; sometimes line graphs are the way to go (that's what I did last year); other times scatter plots are more appropriate. But some people don't "get" either of these, so today let's look at some bar graphs.

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