It’s hard to take the GOP seriously as the “pro-life” party when its members are dying faster than Louie Gohmert’s brain at a urinal cake-eating contest. Eventually Focus on the Family will have to change its name to Focus on the Fetus, because the family is half dead from COVID, and none of these fools seem to care.
Even as Ohio Republicans attempt to stack the political deck in favor of forced-birthers through their proposed (and so-far failing) Issue 1 amendment (which would make it more difficult for state residents to pass future abortion-rights amendments), there’s new evidence that the state’s conservatives are a clear and present danger to, well, themselves.
A study from Yale University, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, provides yet more proof that listening to Republicans is hazardous to your health. The researchers determined that registered Republicans in Ohio and Florida experienced a higher rate of excess deaths after vaccines became universally available in April 2021. Though the study doesn’t directly attribute the deaths to COVID-19, the inference is clear. Primed to believe outlandish conspiracy theories by Donny T. and the Demon Sperm Doctors, Republicans decided to 86 the scientific community in favor of the scientif-ish community. And they appear to be paying for that decision with their lives.
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The Washington Post:
The study examined the deaths of 538,139 people 25 years and older in Florida and Ohio, between January 2018 and December 2021, with researchers linking them to party registration records. Researchers found the excess death rate for Republicans and Democrats was about the same at the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
Both parties experienced a sharp but similar increase in excess deaths the following winter. But after April 2021, the gap in excess death rates emerged, with the rate for Republicans 7.7 percentage points higher than the rate for Democrats. For Republicans, that translated into a 43 percent increase in excess deaths.
Oh, man. Florida too? But Gov. Ron DeSantis—who initially embraced the vaccine rollout before deciding that living people were too woke—keeps saying his COVID-19 response was the best! Maybe he could revive his flailing presidential campaign with a new slogan, like “DeSantis 2024: Get Your Inheritance Early,” or “Now I Am Become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds.” (Hey, that would still be way less weird and creepy than whatever this is.)
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Researchers said the gap in excess death rates was larger in counties with lower vaccination rates, and noted that the gap was primarily driven by voters in Ohio. The results suggest that differences in vaccination attitudes and the uptake among Republican and Democratic voters “may have been factors in the severity and trajectory of the pandemic” in the United States.
Of course, this isn’t the first study showing that Republicans are, in fact, decidedly pro-moldering corpse.
For instance, a Harvard study published in December 2022 found that the more control Republicans have over your state, the more likely you are to end up in an a pine box sourced from irreplaceable old-growth redwoods and slathered with poorly regulated lead-based Chinese paints.
The Washington Post:
The study, published this month in the Lancet Regional Health-Americas, found that the more conservative the voting records of members of Congress and state legislators, the higher the age-adjusted covid mortality rates — even after taking into account the racial, education and income characteristics of each congressional district along with vaccination rates.
Covid death rates were 11 percent higher in states with Republican-controlled governments and 26 percent higher in areas where voters lean conservative. Similar results emerged about hospital ICU capacity when the concentration of political power in a state was conservative.
Another COVID mortality study, published in the June 2022 issue of Health Affairs, revealed that “[m]ajority Republican counties experienced 72.9 additional deaths per 100,000 people relative to majority Democratic counties.” The study cited “[p]artisan differences in attitudes toward the COVID-19 pandemic and toward the appropriateness of local policies requiring masks, social distancing, and vaccines.”
And the difference between mortality rates in red and blue areas isn’t merely a COVID effect. Yet another study, published in the June 2022 British Medical Journal, looked at overall death rates since 2001 and noticed a widening gap between the outcomes for those in red and blue states.
“COVID has really magnified what had already been brewing in American society, which was that, based on where you lived, your risk of death was much different,” says Haider J. Warraich, a physician and researcher at the VA Boston Healthcare System and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
In a study published in June in The BMJ, Warraich and his colleagues showed that over the two decades prior to the pandemic, there was a growing gap in mortality rates for residents of Republican and Democratic counties across the U.S. In 2001, the study’s starting point, the risk of death among red and blue counties (as defined by the results of presidential elections) was similar. Overall, the U.S. mortality rate has decreased in the nearly two decades since then (albeit not as much as in most other high-income countries). But the improvement for those living in Republican counties by 2019 was half that of those in Democratic counties—11 percent lower versus 22 percent lower.
So the message is clear: Vote for Republicans, screw yourself. Unless you live in a suburban gated McMansion with a swimming pool and backyard golden dragon hoard, of course.
Even more importantly, this latest study—and those that preceded it—should finally and forever explode the myth that Republicans have ever really cared about human lives.
Check out Aldous J. Pennyfarthing’s four-volume Trump-trashing compendium, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link. Or, if you prefer a test drive, you can download the epilogue to Goodbye, Asshat for the low, low price of FREE.