Democrats and Republicans have always disagreed on many issues, but in recent years polarization has reached shocking new heights.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has made it clear that the two sides don't even see reality the same way: Democrats strongly support public health initiatives and want to get vaccinated, while Republicans are reluctant to embrace even the most basic mitigation measures.
Does this account for the fact that OVID-19 cases and deaths are significantly higher in red states than in blue states? Find out below.
Democrats Vs. Republicans
According to a new analysis from The Washington Post, data clearly shows that red states are doing much worse than blue states when it comes to COVID-19.
Of the 23 states that have new coronavirus case totals per capita higher than the national average, 21 voted for former President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election. Sixteen of those states are among the 17 that have the lowest vaccination rates in the country.
Similarly, of the 18 states that have new coronavirus deaths total than the nation overall, 14 voted for Trump over Democrat Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential race.
Why Are Blue States Doing Much Better?
So, why are states where Democrats are in control doing much better than red states? Is this due to GOP leaders refusing to embrace public health measures, or are people who lean Republican simply refusing to take COVID-19 seriously?
It doesn't really matter, according to The Washington Post.
"Answering these questions is tricky. It is also fundamentally unimportant. Even without a clear answer, it’s obvious that there’s an overlap of vaccination rates, party identity and pandemic outcomes that intertwines the discussion about the pandemic with partisan politics. "
Democrats Support Mandates
More than 70 percent of American adults have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, and polling suggests that most Americans support public health policies such as vaccine and mask mandates.
However, as a recent Politico/Morning Consult poll showed, Republicans oppose both.
In the survey, half of independent voters and more than 8 in 10 Democrats said coronavirus vaccines should be mandatory for everyone, except for people with certain medical conditions, but just 35 percent of Republicans agreed. The partisan split was nearly identical on mask mandates.
Biden announced last week a sweeping new coronavirus vaccine mandate, requiring all companies with more than 100 employees to mandate vaccines or regular testing.
Democrats have largely supported the decision -- which will affect around 100 million Americans -- but Republican politicians have described it as an unprecedented assault on free enterprise, calling the president a dictator.
Vaccine mandates are nothing new. They have been in place for decades, with children in all 50 states being required to vaccinate against all sorts of viruses.