2:20 p.m. ET, December 2, 2021
CNN analysis: Risk of dying from Covid-19 is higher in red states
Since vaccines have become widely available, the average risk of dying from Covid-19 is more than 50% higher in states that voted for President Trump in 2020 than it is in states that voted for President Biden, according to a CNN analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.
In the first 11 months of the pandemic – from the initial surge through the winter 2020 surge, before vaccines became widely available – the average Covid-19 death rate was about the same along party lines. Through the end of January 2021, states that voted for Trump in the 2020 election had an average of 128 Covid-19 deaths for every 100,000 people, while states that voted for Biden had an average of 127 Covid-19 deaths for every 100,000 people.
New Jersey and New York, two states hit hard early on, had the highest death rates during this time. Mississippi and Louisiana also ranked among the 10 worst-hit states.
In early February 2021, the number of people who received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine surpassed the total number of Covid-19 cases in the US.
In the 10 months since then, nearly 60% of the US population has become fully vaccinated and the average Covid-19 death rate in the US overall is 25% lower than it was in the 11 months before.
The average death rate dropped even more in blue states. But in red states, where vaccination rates generally lag the national average, the average death rate hasn’t changed nearly as much.
More context: Since Feb. 1, red states have had an average of 116 Covid-19 deaths per 100,000 people – 52% higher than the average of 77 deaths per 100,000 people in blue states. The five states with the worst per capita death rates in that time all voted for Trump in 2020: Oklahoma, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky and West Virginia.
Four in 10 Republicans remain unvaccinated, compared to about one in 10 Democrats, according to data from a Kaiser Family Foundation survey published Wednesday. Fully vaccinated Republicans were also less likely than Democrats to have received a booster dose.