Donald Trump’s Math on COVID-19 Wrong Again

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Red in a blue state? Trump doesn’t think you count. In a September 17 briefing, he suggested that America should exclude COVID-19 deaths in blue states from official counts, again politicizing the virus instead of acting to stop it. According to Trump, “If you take the blue states out, we’re at a level [of fatalities] that I don’t think anybody in the world would be at.”

Ignoring the significant fact that Trump is shredding the social contract by failing to act as a president to the whole United States, as his oath and common decency require, this statement is wrong in many ways. Total deaths occurring in so-called red states are above 90,000. If only those deaths matter, the U.S. still ranks second in number of deaths globally.

Coastal blue states, with large populations and high rates of tourism, did see a surge in early cases — while Donald Trump was knowingly downplaying the severity of the virus. However, red states began to see the majority of new daily deaths in June. Louisiana and Arizona surpassed New Jersey and New York with higher infection rates per capita in July. And 70% of new daily deaths have occurred in red states since mid-July. All five of the states with the highest case growth as of mid-September are red states.

A counter narrative would read: Blue states, hit early, acted to reduce COVID’s impact while red states ignored warnings and allowed the virus to spread unchecked. In fact, all Americans’ lives and deaths count. A pandemic is no place for politics.

Fact Quotes

New York, California, and New Jersey – all led by Democrats– were among the states with highest number of deaths from coronavirus. However, both Texas and Florida, which are Republican led, are also in the top five states in terms of coronavirus deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. These five states also have the largest populations in the country and were the first to tackle major outbreaks of the virus, suggesting that there is no scientific correlation between political party of state leaders and the spread of the virus.

ABC News

Why has the ratio of blue-state to red-state deaths shifted? Because most of the newly occurring deaths are happening in red states. Since mid-June, a majority of the new coronavirus deaths each day have occurred in red states. Since mid-July at least 70 percent have.

Daily cases are a 7-day average to smooth out day-to-day variations in the data. Risk levels are based on a scale developed by the Harvard Global Health Institute and a collaboration of top scientists at institutions around the country.



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