Saturday, May 23, 2020

The Anti-Social Behavior Of People Living In Counties Trump Won, Is Steepening The Curve And Spreading The Contagion


Totally In Control by Nancy Ohanian

If you sometimes get tempted to wish the anti-social distancing protestors all die, remember, when they get infected they spread the disease outside their own crazy circles-- to family members, neighbors, grocery store clerks, the guy they buy their ammunition from... The Trumpist dominated counties where people refuse to wear masks and practice social distancing are increasing their rates of infection right now-- and in a big way-- but as they steepen the curve, all of us who have been fighting to flatten the curve, are going to be taken down with them. There's no wall between Kern County and L.A. County or between Suffolk County and Nassau County. Their willful ignorance and bad habits won't just infect them.
The decision of some Americans to not wear a mask in public has become a political act, the latest demonstration of how misinformation is complicating the American response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

As states reopen, enforcement of new mask requirements in public spaces has led to conflict: A Target employee in California broke his arm after trying to remove two customers refusing to wear masks. In Flint, Michigan, a security guard at a Family Dollar store was shot and killed after a dispute with a disgruntled customer over wearing a face mask.

Now, these kinds of confrontations are also happening in medical clinics and hospitals, endangering health care staff.

...[A] growing number of doctors, scientists, and public health experts are now calling for universal masking in indoor public spaces and crowded outdoor spaces. One recent study, not yet through peer review, analyzed data from Hong Kong, where near-universal masking was voluntarily adopted very early in the pandemic. It suggests coronavirus transmission may drop as much as 75 percent when surgical masks are used. And other studies suggest that if mask use were universal, it would control transmission even better than a strict lockdown. Especially as the US begins to reopen, masks will be critical tools to help control public transmission.

...Confusion about when and where masks should be worn is also playing out in other high-risk places that provide medical care, like nursing homes. Sue Krohn-Taylor is an administrator at a 72-apartment low-income senior living facility in the large town of Grand Island, Nebraska, where a resident has tested positive for Covid-19. She says she’s been battling some residents who refuse to wear masks, and is exhausted.

“This week, the son of one of the residents told me I was taking away their liberties by making them wear a mask in the common areas,” she says. “If they were only harming themselves, I would back off, but they are placing each and every resident here, and my staff, and our families in harm’s way.”

“I can fight the virus, but fighting the lies is what becomes overwhelming,” she says.

A new report from Brookings traces the spread of COVID-19 through the Trump counties where the pandemic hasn't been taken seriously. We've watched as cases in states opening up while ignoring the White House safety guidelines spike dramatically-- like in North Dakota (3,040 cases per million) Georgia (3,907 cases per million), Mississippi (4,242 cases per million), South Dakota (4,924 cases per million), Iowa (5,232 cases per million) and Nebraska (6,029 cases per million)-- but the Brookings report goes much deeper-- into counties, where the connection to Trumpism, idiocy and contagion is much clearer. "As more parts of America," wrote William Frey, proclaim themselves open for business, COVID-19 continues to expand into new counties and states in many areas with demographic and political orientations favorable to President Donald Trump. This is especially noteworthy given that the president has pushed for an even faster reopening of the U.S. economy. Now, for four weeks running, counties newly designated with a high prevalence of COVID-19 cases were more likely to have voted for Trump than for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, according to our analyses. In the latest week of this monitor, such counties favored Trump by a 12% margin in 2016, and, as in recent weeks, they are also much less urban and less racially diverse than places where the coronavirus was most prevalent in March and early April."

COVID-19’s spread is continuing southward and westward from its northeastern concentration at the end of March. Counties identified in the most recent week are heavily located in the South (80 counties) and Midwest (68). There is also a high representation in smaller areas, as 159 of the 176 newly identified high-prevalence counties lie in outer suburbs, small metropolitan areas, or outside of metropolitan areas. (Notable exceptions are Florida’s Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, part of the greater Tampa metro area; Wake County, N.C., in the Raleigh metro area; and the Texas counties of Bexar and Collin, part of the San Antonio and Dallas metro areas, respectively.)

Especially noteworthy are the political aspects of this expansion. Among new high-prevalence counties from the week of May 11 to May 17, Trump won 151 of them in the 2016 election. Clinton was the victor in just 25. While it is true that many of the Clinton counties had larger populations than the mostly rural and small metropolitan Trump counties, voters residing in these counties, combined, favored Trump by a margin of 53 to 41.

Over the four-week period between April 20 and May 17, 697 new high COVID-19 prevalence counties voted for Trump, compared with just 127 that voted for Clinton. This ratio of over 5-to-1 is larger than the 2-to-1 ratio in the prior three weeks (March 30 to April 19). Moreover, in each of the past four weeks, voters of newly designated high COVID-19 prevalence counties, combined, showed more votes for Trump than for Clinton.

A breakdown of these 697 Trump counties, again, shows high prevalence in the South and Midwest. The largest numbers of southern high-prevalence counties are in Texas (52 counties), Georgia (45), and Virginia (36). In the Midwest, high-prevalence counties are in Indiana (40) and Iowa (37). Also noteworthy are the 101 high-prevalence Trump counties located in the swing states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Florida. Overall, including earlier weeks (as Map 2 depicts), 1,163 high COVID-19 prevalence counties voted for Trump in 2016, compared to 375 that voted for Clinton.

In past four weeks, the number of states where at least 40% of residents lived in high COVID-19 prevalence counties increased from 23 to 46. Eighteen of the 23 new states voted for Trump in 2016-- most recently, Arkansas, Kansas, and Wisconsin. Thus, as of May 17, 26 of these 46 states are “red” states, compared to 20 “blue” states.

The overall demographics of persons residing in newly designated high COVID-19 prevalence counties continues to transition away from earlier urbanized, racially diverse, and high-inequality counties. Among those living in counties newly designated from May 11 to May 17, only 15% reside in highly dense urban cores, while over half live in the outer suburbs, small metro areas, and nonmetropolitan areas. These county populations are 65% white—a larger percentage than the nation as a whole (60%) and far greater than the white population share living in such counties on March 29 (48%). Similarly, new high-prevalence counties are home to a lower share of foreign-born residents and high-income households than was the case for new counties in earlier weeks.

There is a clear trend in the works among counties now experiencing a high COVID-19 prevalence for the first time. Compared to the counties where the pandemic first hit, these they look much more like the rest of America, and in particular, reflect the kinds of areas that carried President Trump to victory in 2016. This suggests that rhetoric from some of the president’s supporters against maintaining public health measures may become more muted, as the nation continues to grapple with the many unknowns about COVID-19’s continued spread.

...When looking at the state level, it is clear that high-prevalence counties are increasingly representing populations in red states. Back on April 19, 23 states had at least 40% of their residents living in high-prevalence counties. Since then, 19 new states joined those ranks, including 15 states that voted for Trump-- most recently, Missouri and North Dakota. There are now 23 red states in which more than two-fifths of the population resides in high COVID-19 prevalence counties, compared to just 19 blue states that have reached this status.

This analysis makes plain that, over the six-week period since the end of March, there has been a broad dispersion of COVID-19 cases into smaller, less dense areas in all parts of the country, comprising populations from a wide range of demographic categories. It is especially noteworthy that, over the past three weeks, more residents of newly designated high COVID-19 prevalence counties voted for Trump over Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. This suggests that, despite recent protests and polling, debates over reopening the economy could turn out to be far more nuanced than a simple red America versus blue America disagreement.
The suicide/death cult in action-- dateline-- Bexar County, Texas:

Labels: , , ,


At 6:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The corporate media is pushing this reopen meme, clearly assisting with the effort to save the billionaires from losing wealth. The local Los Angeles media is promoting reopening hard, especially featuring restaurants. I already see more people walking around in the neighborhood, and few are wearing masks.

A person I know is actively defending the effort using talking points he got from FOX, and is going to Las Vegas today because "I haved to get out for a couple of days." He insists that the virus is nothing more than a bad cold and that fewer people are dying as the days go on. He would refuse to believe the information in this article.

I don't believe a word. It may have gotten me and I haven't left my house since March 3. My feet are red and swollen, there is a strange, dry rash on my shins, and that "butterfly" is beginning to show up on my face. I first felt a burning sensation across my cheekbones and nose late last night.

But let's get that goddamn economy going again! Billionaires are losing value because you aren't willing to die for profits!

As another regular who posts here frequently says, Fuck We're Stupid!

At 11:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's actually not anti-social behavior.

it's militant narcissism.

hey, no wonder trump got elected.


Post a Comment

<< Home