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The COVID-19 league of governors

The overriding factor in who suffered most from COVID-19 is luck

May 20, 2020

1:09 PM

20 May 2020

1:09 PM

It’s a grim form of federalism, looking at America’s states and trying to evaluate which has fared the worst in the fight against COVID-19. But that is how America is meant to work: different states can see what others are doing and adapt accordingly. Cockburn posts the below table of gubernatorial coronavirus performance not to play any blame game. It just makes for useful reading.

What’s clear is that the overriding factor in who suffered most from COVID-19 is luck.


If you happen to be the governor of a populous northeastern state, you have probably seen a lot of death on your watch. Hawai’i, by contrast, has had the greatest success in limiting deaths per 100,000 residents, even though it has high population density. It helps to be on an island.

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The numbers suggest, however, that lockdowns and lockdown compliance do not seem to have any clear correlation with deaths avoided. Which begs the question — was it the right policy for so many governors to pursue?


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