Posted by on October 3, 2022 11:41 am
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Republicans had higher death rate than Democrats during pandemic: Study

FILE – People protest Gov. Gary Herbert during an anti-mask rally outside of the Governors Mansion Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, in Salt Lake City. The official global death toll from COVID-19 is on the verge of eclipsing 6 million — underscoring that the pandemic, now in its third year, is far from over. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File) Rick Bowmer/AP

Republicans had higher death rate than Democrats during pandemic: Study

Ryan King October 03, 11:20 AMOctober 03, 11:20 AM Video Embed

Republicans suffered from a significantly higher COVID-19 excess death rate during the pandemic than Democrats, according to a new study.

For much of the early phase of the pandemic, voters from the two parties endured a somewhat comparable excess death rate, with Republicans sustaining about 22% higher excess deaths. However, when the pandemic shifted into the vaccine phase, a much more drastic dichotomy between the two parties emerged, with Republicans sustaining 76% more excess deaths than Democrats, the study found.

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“Overall, the excess death rate for Republicans was 5.4 percentage points (pp), or 76%, higher than the excess death rate for Democrats,” the study said. “The gap in excess death rates between Republicans and Democrats is concentrated in counties with low vaccination rates and only materializes after vaccines became widely available.”

The study was published by the National Bureau of Economic Research and circulated on Monday but has not been peer-reviewed. It compared 2017 voter registration data in Ohio and Florida to mortality rates for those 25 and older who died from 2018 to 2021. It has a 95% confidence interval for most of its estimates.

The excess death rate gap between Republicans and Democrats jumped from 1.6 percentage points to 10.4 percentage points after vaccines became available, according to the study.

“This sharp contrast in the excess death rate gap before and after vaccines were available suggests that vaccine take-up likely played an important role,” the NBER study explained. “Data on vaccine take-up by party is limited and unavailable in our dataset, but there is evidence of differences in vaccination attitudes and reported uptake based on political party affiliation.”

The NBER study noted it was able to obtain voting data from Florida and Ohio but that it was not able to receive information on a person’s vaccination status.

Other studies and polling found that Democrats were more likely to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or undergo more stringent pandemic prevention measures than Democrats. For example, a recent Morning Consult poll found that only 64% of Republicans were vaccinated or planned to get vaccinated compared to 87% of Democrats.

In Florida, 69.3% of residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while 59.6% of Ohioans are fully vaccinated against the virus, according to Our World In Data. The national average is 68.4% fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

Excess deaths in the NBER study were defined as “the percent increase in deaths above expected deaths that are due to seasonality, geographic location, party affiliation, and age.” The study relied on death rates in Ohio and Florida in 2018 and 2019 to determine the excess death rate during the first two years of the pandemic.

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Independents and voters registered to other political parties were not evaluated in the NBER study. A total of 577,659 people who died in those two states were measured.

“If these differences in vaccination by political party affiliation persist, then the higher excess death rate among Republicans is likely to continue through the subsequent stages of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the study added.

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