States with Democratic governors had a lower spread of COVID-19 than Republican-led ones due to tighter public health measures, a new Study In American Journal of Preventive Medicine found, which the researchers said underscore how much of the Covid-19 restrictions have been “politicised” – and why health professionals should be the ones calling the shots.
The peer-reviewed study, led by researchers at Binghamton University, determined a Public Health Protection Policy Index (PPI) that measured the “rigor” of states’ public health policies and found those findings in relation to states’ COVID-19 transmission. analysed. Partisan affiliation of governors.
The researchers looked at COVID-19 rates and policies between March and November 2020, as well as when COVID-19 cases peaked in specific states.
Democratic-led states had a PPI that was on average about 10 points higher than states with GOP governors, although some Republican-led states in the study such as Maryland, Vermont and Massachusetts had stricter measures that were closer to Democratic states.
A 10-point difference in the PPI was associated with an 8% “increase in the expected number of new cases,” meaning the spread of COVID-19 was much lower on average in Democratic-led states than Republicans because they had more Remedy in harsh place.
For example, cases in New York at the start of the pandemic would be higher and peak in May 2020 instead of April had the state not imposed strict restrictions, the study’s model found.
The study’s authors said their findings demonstrated “a clear politicization of public health measures” and why it may be “beneficial” to leave decisions about such policies to “health professionals rather than political officials”.
“The key lesson of this research is that better public health requires a less partisan approach to the formulation of public health policies,” said study co-author Olga Shvetsova, a political science professor at Binghamton University, State University of New York. said the professor. Statement.
Republican governors have defended their hands-off approach to COVID-19 restrictions, claiming measures such as lockdowns and mask mandates are an unfair violation of people’s liberties. “In terms of enforcing any restrictions, you know, it’s not happening in Florida,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said In August when the state faced a massive Covid-19 surge. “It’s harmful. It’s disruptive. It doesn’t work.”
The Binghamton-led study is in line with other studies showing the effectiveness of COVID-19 mitigation policies such as mask mandates and stay at home orders, and a previous study also published in AJPM Similarly more lax restrictions from GOP states with higher COVID-19 metrics than their Democratic counterparts. COVID-19 measures such as lockdowns and mask mandates have been politicized throughout the pandemic and become a partisan issue, and many Republican governors have not only lifted restrictions, but banned local governments and schools from implementing them altogether. have make. Republicans have also been the largest demographic to reject COVID-19 vaccines, resulting in low vaccination rates in many conservative-led states hit hard by the recent surge of the highly infectious Delta variant.
The Governor’s Party, Policies, and the COVID-19 Outcome: Further Evidence of an Effect (American Journal of Preventive Medicine)
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