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Red America: The Next COVID Frontier

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I was reminded this morning of this Greg Sargent piece from a couple of weeks ago that went over where the demographics for COVID-19 are heading. With the administration privately admitting that they are going to let hundreds of thousands of people die just because, it’s worth noting that this is going to hit red states very hard and while it will start (and has started) in poorer and black communities, it’s going to also hit red-state white communities very hard.

As of mid-April, the majority of residents of counties that have just become high-coronavirus areas are in the South, Midwest and West. Under half reside in urban cores; more than half live in suburban, outer-suburban, small-metro and rural areas. Nearly half of those counties’ voters picked Trump in 2016.

“A lot of people think high-covid counties are distinctly different than most of the rest of the country — that they’re more urban, they’re more Democratic, they have more racial minorities,” Frey told me.

“But in fact, the areas that have reached this high-covid status over the last three weeks are looking more and more like the rest of America,” Frey said.

Frey noted that some of these new-covid counties are concentrated in places that could matter in the 2020 races, such as the Detroit suburbs, northern Michigan, central Florida and rural Georgia. Others include counties in Colorado and Nevada. (See Frey’s map for more.)

If this continues, it could badly complicate the debate over social distancing for Trump. As Frey noted, the perception that high-covid counties are overwhelmingly urban and Democratic “underlies a lot of these protests that are going on,” because the general sentiment among protesters is, “We’re not like that.”

Where this has not proven true since its publication is that it would complicate the relationship between Trump and social distancing. It hasn’t at all because “freedom” means unnecessary deaths from all sorts of causes to make sure the blacks and the gays and the liberals feel bad and don’t get anything. Hard to see anything changing that, including mass death among Trump’s own base.

….Sargent updated the post today with new demographic data

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