States tried to balance the risks of economic disruption with safety concerns, but you don’t often see surveys that try to assess how states did by both measures. A new study, however, concludes that when you plot the two metrics, there’s one state that clearly performed worst. The consulting firm Hamilton Place Strategies contends that “New York had the worst overall outcome, with both high excess deaths and high job losses.” Idaho, Utah, and West Virginia scored highest when you combine the two measures.
New York instituted severe lockdowns and suffered catastrophic loss of life anyway. Its unemployment spiked higher than any other state’s — except tourism-dependent Hawaii — and its excess deaths over the past year were significantly exceeded only by Mississippi. Charting these two factors on a graph, HPS makes it clear that New York has been a woeful outlier for worst state to be in during the pandemic.