Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Politicize This


As the covid-19 pandemic was starting to affect the US half a year ago, the idiots on the right began to politicize the issue right away. Responding to my  article  Mother Nature?  (March 23, 2020), an anonymous reader wrote the following:

“Tom, following your penchant for statistics, Coronavirus deaths per million population: - Italy 206 - Spain 194 - Belgium 71 - Netherlands 68, France 54 - Switzerland 53 - UK 35 - Sweden 24 - Denmark 18 - Austria 16 - Ireland 14 - USA 12

Thank you President Trump for acting rapidly in blocking European flights!”

He added: “Contrary to your assertion, the death stats show that Western Europe remains the epicenter of the Coronavirus, every other stat is just a question of who measures the most. Besides, when our summer becomes the southern hemisphere’s winter, the southern hemisphere will become the epicenter. While I recognize we all have a problem, my previous point was to show statistically that we have more competent executive branch leadership (reacting faster and minimizing loss) than the other European democracies, and that I personally am grateful that Trump is president rather than the senile idiot the democrats are about to nominate. I would also point out that while Italy by far appears to be the most incompetent and ill prepared of the European nations, at the same time New York which has almost 50% of our Corona cases is ironically led by two Italians named Cuomo and DeBlasio!"   

First, let me note that a majority of the comments I get are supportive. But I also  get my share of  misguided rants such as the one above.

Now for an update. I am sad to say that half a year later, anonymous turns out to be spectacularly wrong (something which most physicians and other reasonable people could have predicted). The table below  provides  international stats as of Sept. 26: 


Cases per million

Deaths per million





































The US is clearly the  champion as far as community spread is concerned. We are also  among the world’s top countries in terms of deaths per million. But most people already know this. Most  of us also know that much of the blame for this lies with the president and his Republican sycophants, who have pooh-poohed, mismanaged  and politicized the pandemic from the get-go.

So let’s compare the spread of the disease in red states and blue states:

Of the 51 jurisdictions (including D.C.),  23 states are identified as red  and 19 as blue (the remainder are ambiguous):


I ranked all 51 jurisdictions in terms of cases per million, from highest to lowest. Results:

Cases per million, ranked from high to low:                          

Red States (23):                      Blue States (19):

1. Louisiana                             14. New York

2. Florida                                 16 New jersey

3. Mississippi                           17. Rhode Island

4. Alabama                              18. Illinois

5. Arizona                               22. District of Columbia

6. Georgia                               24. Delaware

7. South Carolina                    25. California

8. Tennessee                            27. Maryland

10. Arkansas                           30. Wisconsin

11. North Dakota                    31. Massachusetts

12. Texas                                 34. Minnesota

15. South Dakota                    35. Connecticut

19. Idaho                                 38. Michigan

20. Nebraska                           40 Pennsylvania

21. Utah                                  42. Washington

23. Oklahoma                          46 Hawaii

26. Missouri                            48. Oregon

28. Kansas                               50. Maine

36. Kentucky                          51. Vermont

43. Montana

44. Alaska

45. Wyoming

47. West Virginia

The top  8 states with the highest relative amount of infection are all red. In general, red states are doing a much worse job at controlling the pandemic Example: Republican Florida governor Ron DeSantis is re-opening all businesses, just as  Florida’s counts are skyrocketing.

The Trumpites have politicized the pandemic from the start, deriding the wearing of masks, etc. And as it has been said innumerable times, the corona virus doesn’t distinguish between Democrats and Republicans.

But my point is that two can play the game.  This game becomes especially heinous when people, like anonymous above, stoop to racist insults, as when he blames Italians. I don’t think Americans want to start pointing fingers at various nationalities, now that they own the  plague’s  epicenter, now that the table is turned and Europe no longer admits American visitors.

Do you still want to talk about “idiot Democrats” and “incompetent Italians” in Italy and “incompetent Italian-Americans” in New York?

Right now, I would much rather travel to Italy or to New York than to Texas, Florida, or any other Republican state.

Okay, so  this is a tit for a tat. I am politicizing the pandemic. But hey, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

© Tom Kando 2020;All Rights Reserved

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