The Mythical Red and Blue State COVID-19 Divide

Sign on a barrier at Lincoln Center during the coronavirus outbreak in New York City, May 21, 2020. (Mike Segar/Reuters)
Strict lockdowns have not exacerbated recessions, but neither have they saved lives.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE A ssuming that Joe Biden will be the next president, policies adopted in Democratic states are likely to be pushed nationally. Both Trump and Biden largely favored the policies of governors from their own parties and disagreed over the importance of lockdowns (and specifically their effect on economic activity) in managing the pandemic.

The heterogeneity of the United States compared with smaller countries led the Trump administration to discard a uniform national policy in favor of supporting states’ efforts to develop policies tailored to their own unique circumstances. Differences in COVID-19 mitigation policies emerged, perhaps driven by their governors’ party affiliation. The

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