By Laurel Duggan
A senior writer at The New York Times said vaccinations, booster shots and masks have not caused a major difference in case rates between parts of the country with different levels of COVID-19 precautions in a Wednesday morning newsletter.
The newsletter compared COVID-19 case rates for Democratic and Republican areas, noting that Democrats were more likely to wear masks, get vaccinated and boosted, avoid public spaces and shut down in-person schools over virus fears.
“These factors seem as if they should have caused large differences in case rates. They have not. And that they haven’t offers some clarity about the relative effectiveness of different Covid interventions,” David Leonhardt wrote in the newsletter.
Restaurants in America’s most liberal cities are still seating customers at only 40% of pre-pandemic levels, while restaurants in cities like Miami, Austin, Texas, Nashville, Tennessee, and Charlotte, North Carolina, have fully recovered, according to the newsletter.
“Nationwide, the number of official Covid cases has recently been somewhat higher in heavily Democratic areas than Republican areas,” the NYT newsletter read. “There is a strong argument for continuing to remove other restrictions, and returning to normal life.”
Unlike other precautions, vaccination rates were closely related to death rates, and areas that voted for former President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election saw approximately double the COVID-19 death rate than areas that voted for President Joe Biden, according to the newsletter.
“If a new variant emerges, and hospitals are again at risk of being overwhelmed, then reinstating Covid restrictions may make sense again, despite their modest effects. But that’s not where the country is today,” the newsletter concluded.
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