- - Thursday, September 24, 2020

President Trump has claimed that COVID-19 is a disease most severely infecting Democratic-voting states and districts. I decided that had to be refuted because it just did not make sense. I used an Excel spreadsheet focusing on deaths per million by state.

The elements I wanted to use were easily found on the Internet. Using current U.S. population and COVID-19 deaths on Sept. 22 from the John Hopkins site, I computed deaths per million. To measure a state’s political position I chose the electoral vote in 2016, the governor’s party and the makeup of the senators and representatives sent to Congress.

I then decided two of the three measures had to go in one direction to place a state in the most or least lethal category. For those states with 700 or more deaths per million, eight out of 10 were “blue.” For those states with less than 300 deaths per million, 10 of 14 were “red.”

Maybe Mr. Trump’s claim is not that outrageous after all. All states received the same information and guidelines from the federal government. Each state then had to set its own policies for dealing with threatening environments and vulnerable people.

NOLAN NELSON



Eugene, Ore.

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