Americans in areas that plumped for President Donald Trump are almost three times more likely to die of Covid-19 than in counties which backed Joe Biden, analysis has found.
In the strongest pro-Trump areas, there was an almost sixfold difference in pandemic mortality compared with the most pro-Biden areas, National Public Radio (NPR) found.
NPR examined deaths per 100,000 people in around 3,000 counties across the US since May 2021. The broadcaster chose 1 May as the start date as that was roughly the time when vaccines became universally available to adults.
The study found that areas voting for Trump by at least 60 per cent in November 2020 had death rates 2.7 times higher than counties which voted heavily for Biden.
It also found that those counties that voted for Trump by an even higher percentage had lower vaccination rates – and higher Covid death rates.
Charles Gaba, an analyst who helped with the study, said that in October, the most heavily Republican tenth of the country saw death rates six times higher than the bluest tenth.
“Those numbers have dropped slightly in recent weeks,” he added. “It’s back down to 5.5 times higher.”
Political affiliation in the US is now a stronger indicator of vaccination status than socio-economic or racial parameters.
Whereas 91 per cent of Democrat-voting adults have been vaccinated, just 59 per cent of Republicans have received two jabs, according to the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) think-tank.
According to NPR, “the strength of the association, combined with polling information about vaccination, strongly suggests that Republicans are being disproportionately affected”.
Republicans are also more likely to believe misinformation about Covid and vaccines. According to KFF, 94 per cent of Republicans think one or more false statement about the virus and the vaccines might be true – and 46 per cent believe four or more might be true.
Just 14 per cent of Democrats, on the other hand, believe four or more false statements about the virus.
More than 788,000 people have died of Covid in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University.