That calculus assumes there are hospital methods to overwhelm. New evaluation from Kaiser Well being Information revealed Friday suggests there are hundreds of thousands of People who dwell in counties the place there could also be no intensive-care unit beds in any respect. Many dwell in counties the place there usually are not even hospitals.
The presence of a hospital and of intensive-care items correlates to how rural the county is, as you may count on. However that additionally means there’s a exceptional little bit of overlap with politics, given how central the agricultural vote was to President Trump’s election in 2016.
Evaluating the county-level information from Kaiser Well being Information to 2016 presidential election information, we found a exceptional bit of information: About 8.Three million individuals who voted for Trump in 2016 dwell in counties the place there aren’t any ICU beds or no hospitals. That quantities to about 13 p.c of the full votes Trump earned in that election, or one out of each eight votes.
These counties are additionally dwelling to about 3.Eight million individuals who voted for Hillary Clinton, a determine which makes up solely about 5 p.c of her complete. A lot of the counties voted for Trump by huge margins; he gained them by a mean of 41 factors. He gained 10 occasions as many counties with no ICU beds as did Clinton.
Extra importantly, these counties which voted for Trump are dwelling to about 6.5 million folks over the age of 60, folks in a very high-risk group for contracting covid-19.
For each particular person 60 or older in a county which voted for Clinton and has no ICU beds, there are 10 occasions as many individuals in that age group in counties that backed Trump and haven’t any ICU beds.
Given the correlation between inhabitants density and the variety of confirmed coronavirus infections, it’s doubtless the virus will unfold in additional rural counties at slower charges. However there are already nicely over 100 counties wherein there aren’t any ICU beds and wherein coronavirus instances have been confirmed, in line with information compiled by the Convention of State Financial institution Supervisors.
Typically, the variety of confirmed infections in these counties is just one or two — at this level. Probably the most instances out of these counties are in ones which backed Clinton in 2016. That matches the nationwide development; since cities are typically the epicenters of the virus and since cities backed Clinton extra closely in 2016, there are about six occasions as many confirmed instances in counties that voted for Clinton as in counties that voted for Trump.
In fact, it’s not simply counties with out ICU beds which might be in danger. The information from Kaiser makes clear that even these counties with ICU beds might shortly see pressure within the occasion of a broad coronavirus outbreak. On common, counties with ICU beds have one for each 5,700 residents and one for each 1,300 residents aged 60 or older.
As of writing, the counties with probably the most confirmed instances are within the New York Metropolis space. The variety of ICU beds within the metropolis’s 5 boroughs varies from 114 on Staten Island (Richmond County) to 761 in Manhattan (New York County). Los Angeles and Chicago have comparatively few instances for his or her measurement — and way more beds.
Not all counties which backed Trump are rural ones with out many ICU beds, in fact. Maricopa County, Ariz., has probably the most ICU beds of any Trump county, in line with the Kaiser Well being Information information.
The difficulty right here isn’t politics. It’s that many People have restricted entry to the kind of medical care the virus may necessitate. It’s that many others dwell in locations the place that entry will shortly be strained by the quantity of covid-19 instances which might be anticipated to emerge.
For a president so closely centered on his base, although, it’s price noting how closely that former group overlaps along with his most fervent assist.