During the 2020 presidential campaign, Democrat Joe Biden ran largely on the promise that he would handle the COVID-19 pandemic better than then-President Donald Trump.
However, a new analysis of unemployment numbers reveals the states that voted for Biden mishandled the pandemic compared with the pro-Trump states.
“Between February and December of last year, states that went for Biden saw the total number of people working drop an average of 6.2 percent, versus a 2.5 percent decline in those voting for the Republican,” the Daily Mail reported.
Every one of the 13 states that saw the lowest decline in employment is strongly Republican. Alaska even saw its employment increase by 0.7 percent in that time span, and Utah’s employment increased by 0.3 percent.
Democrats would argue that decreasing the death rate from the coronavirus was more important than maintaining jobs, which is why they had no problem destroying the economies in their states. However, the draconian restrictions in many blue states were no more effective in decreasing the death rate.
In an article for Reason magazine, Matt Welch looked at a slightly different but similar set of data on job losses during the pandemic. He found that the rates of job loss and the rates of death are all over the board, sharing no statistical pattern.
“Job-growth leader Utah has the sixth-lowest death rate, with 57 per 100,000; New York is third in job loss, second in death rate; Mississippi is fifth in death rate, fourth from the bottom in unemployment,” Welch wrote.
Instead, he argued that the pattern lies in governing styles. Blue states were much more likely to effectively shut down their economies, and it appears that this decision is now coming back to bite them.
“Blue-state governors in California and New York and Michigan have been far more strict about shutting down economic and physical activity than their red-state counterparts in Florida, South Dakota, and Texas,” Welch said.
“The comparative death tolls are roughly the same (California tracks with Florida, New York with South Dakota, and Michigan with Texas); the economic performances are anything but.”
If these incredibly strict shutdowns were saving lives, the Democratic states would have a leg to stand on. However, the data seem to show that these states were shutting down their economies and killing jobs without any substantial effect on the death rates.
The Daily Mail points out that there could be other causes for the disparity in job losses. For example, it noted the leaders in job losses, Hawaii and Nevada, both rely on tourism, and their total employment decreased by 9.3 percent and 10.2 percent, respectively.
By the same token, however, Republican state Florida also relies on tourism, and it performed much better than those states. The Sunshine State’s total employment decreased by just 6.3 percent.
Even in the states whose primary industries lent themselves to more job losses from the pandemic, red states lost fewer jobs than blue states.
In addition, many Democratic states arguably used the negative effects of their own bad policies to push voters toward Biden.
“Voters who experienced more economic misery may have been more eager for a change in governance, swaying them against the incumbent Trump,” the Daily Mail said.
Voters whose decisions were influenced in this way were largely misled. In many cases, their “economic misery” was caused by the policies of their Democratic state governments, not Trump.
However, the establishment media had no problem pushing the lie that Trump was responsible for every pandemic-related problem, which almost certainly swayed voters’ opinions.
In a May 2020 column for The Washington Post, Paul Waldman argued that Trump was to blame for the economic downturn during the pandemic.
“Though Trump was repeatedly warned by people inside and outside his administration beginning in early January that a pandemic was on its way, he continued to dismiss the threat, praise the Chinese government for its response and insist that there was nothing to worry about,” he wrote.
“Though the economic effects were not yet being felt on a wide scale, it was this failure to act that made the national lockdown almost inevitable.”
This is a complete and utter lie.
First of all, Trump did take early action in regard to the pandemic, and Democrats criticized him for that, too.
He imposed travel restrictions on China on Jan. 31, 2020. The next day, Biden called him xenophobic and unfit to handle the COVID-19 crisis.
“We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus,” he tweeted. “We need to lead the way with science — not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering. He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency.”
We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus. We need to lead the way with science — not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering. He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) February 1, 2020
Second, the idea that these lockdowns were “inevitable,” as Waldman claimed, is false. As Welch pointed out, Republican states that kept their economies relatively open suffered fewer job losses and relatively similar death rates.
Trump was not perfect in his handling of COVID-19, but the idea that the Democrats handled the crisis any better is simply untrue.
Voters who believed Biden would magically fix their economic problems are experiencing a rude awakening.