When COVID-19 reached America in the spring, it was initially only a problem in blue states, especially New York and New Jersey. However, a lot has changed since the onset of the virus in how it has spread and how states have chosen to fight back.
In early June, the virus began moving from densely-packed metropolitan areas that tend to favor Democrats to conservative-leaning states such as Texas, Florida, and Arizona. According to The Brookings Institute, "The red state surge was especially high in July, rising to 746 cases per 100,000 residents—more than double that of blue states."
As of October 1, 23 of the 25 states with the highest total cases of COVID-19 per million residents are red states. This video graphic does a great job of explaining how the virus has migrated.
Data speaks for itself. https://t.co/dDtmZU28Fr— Anastasia Ghoul-ovashkina 👻 (@Anastasia Ghoul-ovashkina 👻)1602557830.0
Face masks are the best way to stop the spread of COVID-19 and red states have been slower to adapt mask mandates.
Nine states reported record-high Covid-19 hospitalizations on Sunday, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Only four of those states are among the 31 that to require people to wear masks in public.
There is also a large discrepancy between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to wearing a mask.
Ninety percent of Democratic men and 93% of Democratic women say they "Always wear mask in indoor settings when can't social distance." Whereas, only 40% of Republican men and 56% of Republican women wear a mask when in the same situation.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has become part of America's ongoing culture war and it shows just how powerful political tribalism can be. People throughout the country have decided to risk their lives and those of others just to make a statement about political identity.
Maybe if Hillary Clinton made a video where she urged people not to wear masks, more Republicans would start wearing them and we could be healthy again.
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