COVID19

I've been posting weekly looks at the rate of COVID-19 cases & deaths at the county level since the point at which every U.S. adult could theoretically have received 2 COVID vaccination doses nearly a year ago, broken out by partisan lean (i.e, what percent of the vote Donald Trump received in 2020), as well as by the vaccination rate of each county in the U.S. (nonpartisan).

For a long time I used July 1st, 2021 as my start point, but in December I decided to back this up to May 1st, 2021 instead. Pinning down an exact date for this is a bit tricky since a) different populations were made eligible at different points in 2021, and b) it takes 3-4 weeks after getting your first vaccination dose before you can get the second one, but May 1st is what I've finally settled on. This doesn't really change things much, however.

As always, here's my methodology:

COVID-19 Vaccine

Methodology reminders:

  • I go by county residents who have received the 2nd COVID-19 shot only (or 1st in the case of the J&J vaccine).
  • I base my percentages on the total population via the 2020 U.S. Census including all ages (i.e., it includes kids under 12).

Joint post by Charles Gaba & Andrew Stokes

As noted a couple of weeks ago, I've decided to ease up on my obsessive COVID vaccination & death rate tracking. I'm not abandoning it entirely, mind you; I'm just dropping the updates from weekly to monthly.

There's two reasons for this: First, the weekly updates have been monopolizing my time & energy, making me fall behind on a whole mess of other important healthcare policy stuff; after all, this is ACASignups.net not COVIDTracker.net. Secondly, I think it's fair to say that after meticulously tracking the data for nearly two years (in the case of COVID deaths) or one year (in the case of vaccination rates), I've more than made my point.

However, there's one other important factor which I haven't delved into...because I never had access to the data, at least not at the county level: Excess deaths. For this, I've enlisted the assistance of Andrew Stokes, Asst. Professor at the Boston University School of Public Health, to the point that I'm giving him co-author credit for this entry.

It's been another month since my last attempt to estimate a grim but vitally important number: Just how many Trump voters vs. Biden voters have become fatal victims of the GOP/FOX News coordinated anti-vaxx/anti-mask campaign to date, and what sort of impact might this end up having on the midterm elections this November?

As I said at the time, I'm not going to attempt to justify this cynical bean counting anymore...the evidence is now overwhelming that Republican leadership, in coordination with outlets like FOX News and other right-wing outlets, made a conscious decision in spring 2021 to push hard against Americans getting vaccinated against COVID-19 for purely cynical political math reasons.

NOTE: With national COVID deaths continuing to thankfully drop off (the 7-day avg. is down to ~410/day now), I've decided to switch to monthly updates going forward unless COVID deaths start spiking again.

I also recently stopped posting the relative case rates as they've been pretty much stable for the past couple months and the rise of home-based testing, which usually isn't reported to county/state health departments anyway, has made that data somewhat less meaningful.

I've been posting weekly looks at the rate of COVID-19 cases & deaths at the county level since the point at which every U.S. adult could theoretically have received 2 COVID vaccination doses nearly a year ago, broken out by partisan lean (i.e, what percent of the vote Donald Trump received in 2020), as well as by the vaccination rate of each county in the U.S. (nonpartisan).

COVID-19 Vaccine

Methodology reminders:

  • I go by county residents who have received the 2nd COVID-19 shot only (or 1st in the case of the J&J vaccine).
  • I base my percentages on the total population via the 2020 U.S. Census including all ages (i.e., it includes kids under 12).

I've been posting weekly looks at the rate of COVID-19 cases & deaths at the county level since the point at which every U.S. adult could theoretically have received 2 COVID vaccination doses nearly a year ago, broken out by partisan lean (i.e, what percent of the vote Donald Trump received in 2020), as well as by the vaccination rate of each county in the U.S. (nonpartisan).

For a long time I used July 1st, 2021 as my start point, but in recent months I decided to back this up to May 1st, 2021 instead. Pinning down an exact date for this is a bit tricky since a) different populations were made eligible at different points in 2021, and b) it takes 3-4 weeks after getting your first vaccination dose before you can get the second one, but May 1st is what I've finally settled on.

As always, here's my methodology:

Medicaid

As I (and many others) have been noting for many months now, the official end of the federal Public Health Emergency (PHE), whenever it happens, will presumably bring with it reason to celebrate...but will also likely create a new disaster at the same time:

What goes up usually goes back down eventually, and that's likely to be the case with Medicaid enrollment as soon as the public health crisis formally ends...whenever that may be.

Well, yesterday Ryan Levi and Dan Gorenstein of of the Tradeoffs healthcare policy podcast posted a new episode which attempts to dig into just when that might be, how many people could be kicked off of the program once that time comes and how to mitigate the fallout (I should note that they actually reference my own estimate in the program notes):

I've been posting weekly looks at the rate of COVID-19 cases & deaths at the county level since the point at which every U.S. adult could theoretically have received 2 COVID vaccination doses nearly a year ago, broken out by partisan lean (i.e, what percent of the vote Donald Trump received in 2020), as well as by the vaccination rate of each county in the U.S. (nonpartisan).

For a long time I used July 1st, 2021 as my start point, but in recent months I decided to back this up to May 1st, 2021 instead. Pinning down an exact date for this is a bit tricky since a) different populations were made eligible at different points in 2021, and b) it takes 3-4 weeks after getting your first vaccination dose before you can get the second one, but May 1st is what I've finally settled on.

As always, here's my methodology:

CMS Logo

via the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services:

The Biden-Harris Administration is announcing today that more than 59 million Americans with Medicare Part B, including those enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, now have access to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved, authorized, or cleared over-the-counter COVID-19 tests at no cost. People with Medicare can get up to eight tests per calendar month from participating pharmacies and health care providers for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

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