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Counties with worst virus surges overwhelmingly voted for Trump

AP – “U.S. voters went to the polls starkly divided on how they see President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, with a surprising twist: In places where the virus is most rampant now, Trump enjoyed enormous support. An Associated Press analysis reveals that in 376 counties with the highest number of new cases per capita, the overwhelming majority — 93% of those counties — went for Trump, a rate above other less severely hit areas. Most were rural areas in Montana, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Wisconsin. Taking note of the contrast, state health officials are pausing for a moment of introspection. Even as they worry about rising numbers of hospitalizations and deaths, they hope to reframe their messages and aim for a reset on public sentiment now that the election is over. “Public health officials need to step back, listen to and understand the people who aren’t taking the same stance” on mask-wearing and other control measures, said Dr. Marcus Plescia of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. “I think there’s the potential for things to get less charged and divisive,” he said, adding that there’s a chance a retooled public health message might unify Americans around lowering case counts so hospitals won’t get swamped during the winter months. The AP’s analysis was limited to counties in which at least 95% of precincts had reported results, and grouped counties into six categories based on the rates of COVID-19 cases they’d experienced per 100,000 residents…”

See also NBCNews – “A record number of coronavirus cases were reported Thursday, breaking a record set Wednesday of more than 100,000 cases in a single day. A total of 120,048 people tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday, nearly 16,000 more than on Wednesday, according to an NBC News tally. The United States has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world. More than 236,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the U.S., according to NBC News data…”

See also Ars Technica – The United States on Wednesday reached an alarming milestone in its failed pandemic response: a day’s tally of new coronavirus cases reached over 100,000 for the first time. But the record was short-lived. Today, Thursday, new cases surpassed 116,000. The country’s third spike in cases is now towering over those before it, which saw peaks of daily new cases no higher than around 76,500. It’s unclear how high the new peak will ultimately get, but it’s likely that Friday will see yet another frightening record. Overall, the country has seen a 20 percent jump in cases since last week, according to The COVID Tracking Project. While nearly every state in the country is seeing cases increase to some extent, the areas propelling the rise are the Midwest and the Mountain West. In fact, the Midwest’s current number of cases per capita are well above that of any other region during the pandemic, the Project notes in a blog post Thursday. In particular, cases in Wisconsin and Illinois are skyrocketing. Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio have also all set new records for single-day case counts in the past week. As for the Western states, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming are all seeing ongoing surges relative to their smaller populations…”

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