To an extent, that is most likely a perform of the message Trump himself is providing, a message that’s typically mirrored in conservative media. The president has sought to downplay the menace the pandemic poses, a minimum of partly out of a want to stop important financial injury. Republicans belief Trump, and plenty of most likely are following his cues on being much less fearful about what would possibly occur.
A part of it additionally could also be a perform of the place the coronavirus has unfold probably the most. About three-quarters of the confirmed circumstances in the USA are in states that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, in response to knowledge compiled by Johns Hopkins College. About half are in New York alone.
It appears comprehensible the virus would appear like much less of a menace to folks in locations the place its unfold is much less pervasive. However the disaster in New York can muddy the unfold of the virus all throughout the nation.
Let’s take a look at it one other approach. The variety of circumstances within the state — largely in New York Metropolis — breaks our scale.
If we take New York out of the combination, the distribution of confirmed circumstances nonetheless signifies that blue states, which regularly are extra closely city and populous, have probably the most circumstances. However this additionally reveals there are a selection of states that most well-liked Trump in 2016 and now have a major variety of circumstances.
Of the 13 states with probably the most confirmed coronavirus circumstances, seven are crimson states.
That graph doesn’t fully convey what’s taking place. New York has extra circumstances partly as a result of it’s received extra folks. If we management for inhabitants, displaying the variety of confirmed circumstances per 100,000 residents in a state, different drawback areas emerge. The District of Columbia, for instance, has the fifth-most circumstances as a perform of inhabitants. Louisiana has extra circumstances as a perform of inhabitants than every other crimson state, by a large margin.
Two weeks in the past, there have been fewer than 1,000 confirmed circumstances nationally. Since then, the variety of circumstances has elevated throughout the board. Animating these weekly shifts, you possibly can see New York overtake Washington state, an early epicenter of circumstances in the USA, and you may see Louisiana emerge from among the many crimson states.
The bigger dot on the middle line above is Michigan. Prior to now week, no state has seen an even bigger surge in its variety of circumstances, leaping from properly below 100 to almost 2,000. In truth, 11 of the 13 states that noticed the most important week-over-week progress as a share of the earlier whole had been crimson states.
That features states equivalent to West Virginia, the place the large surge was from one to 22 circumstances. Nevertheless it additionally consists of Missouri, which went from one case on March 10 to 11 circumstances every week in the past to 257 now.
It’s unattainable to disentangle this from the variety of precise exams performed. New York has performed probably the most exams per resident (in response to the COVID Monitoring Mission) and has probably the most confirmed circumstances. That’s a correlation, not an accident: Authorities have prioritized testing there, in California and in Washington.
Some states, equivalent to New Mexico, have performed extra exams than different states with fewer confirmed circumstances (fewer than 2 % of its exams have been optimistic). Others, equivalent to Ohio, have performed comparatively few exams however have a excessive fee of positives.
At one level earlier this month, Ohio’s main public well being authority estimated a minimum of 1 % of the state may need been contaminated. The genesis of that declare wasn’t clear, nevertheless it makes clear the issue: Fewer exams imply fewer confirmed circumstances and an understatement of the pervasiveness of the issue.
Would possibly that be one of many drivers of partisan divide, a failure of some states to grasp the breadth of the issue? New York has been testing aggressively and located quite a lot of circumstances. What if different states did the identical?
The information over the previous week don’t appear to help the concept will increase are solely a perform of surges in testing. The states with the most important enhance in circumstances aren’t essentially people who ramped up their testing probably the most.
What’s vital is that the variety of circumstances has elevated considerably throughout the board. In states that voted for Clinton in 2016, which make up three-quarters of recognized circumstances, the variety of new confirmed circumstances from March 17 to March 24 elevated by a mean of 530 %.
In crimson states, the typical enhance was 860 %.