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Why Has Hawaii Done So Well With The Pandemic... While Wyoming, Idaho & West Virginia Haven't?

Hint: This Graphic



Earlier today, I was writing about the correlation between counties with huge Trump votes and small Covid vaccination rates and about the opposite-- counties that rejected Trump big in 2020 and now have very high vaccination rates. My theory is simple: a moron is a moron, across all fields of human endeavor (leaving out cases of someone benign idiot savant). In Arizona, for example, the county with the biggest Trump vote was Mohave (74.9%) and the county with the smallest Trump vote was Santa Cruz (31.6%). It's no coincidence that Mohave has the lowest vaccination rate in the state (36%) and that Santa Cruz has the highest (90%).

90% seems very high-- exactly what the country needs to end the pandemic. All the counties I could find with very high vaccination rates are anti-Trump counties where he got small percentages of the vote. Take Wyoming. The whole state was a Trump bastion in 2020-- 69.9% Trump. Trump lost just 2 counties, and just one (Teton) in a landslide (just 29.6% of the vote). The most Trump-infected counties were Crook (88.6%), Weston (87.7%), Campbell (86.8%) and Niobrara (85.5%). Imagine living in places like that and having to contend with the aggressive ignorance and stupidity of the neighbors! Anyway, it isn't going to surprise you to know that Teton County has the highest vaccination rate in Wyoming-- 81%-- and the Trump-infected ones...

  • Crook Co.- 25% fully vaccinated

  • Weston Co.- 32% fully vaccinated

  • Campbell Co.- 25% fully vaccinated

  • Niobrara Co.- 26% fully vaccinated

What about in a blue state, you wonder? Here in California, there were several counties where Trump got less than 20% of the vote, but the least Trumpified county in California was San Francisco (12.7%) and the county with the highest percentage of morons was Lassen (74.5% Trump). Just 32% of the morons in Lassen County are vaccinated-- lowest rate in the state-- while 74% of San Franciscans are. The same kind of correlation is in play in a more swing state like Texas. The state went to Trump with 52.1% in 2020 and the state vaccination rate is 53%. But on a county level, it's a different kind of story. The 3 Texas counties that best managed to avoid infection with Trumpism:

  • Travis Co.- 26.5% Trump (62% fully vaccinated)

  • El Paso Co.- 31.6% Trump (63% fully vaccinated)

  • Presidio Co.- 32.5% Trump (80% fully vaccinated)

And the 3 counties most least likely to survive... you know, because of the kind of willful stupidity it takes to embrace Trumpism so strongly:

  • Roberts Co.- 96.2% Trump (29% fully vaccinated)

  • Borden Co.- 95.4% Trump (31% fully vaccinated)

  • King Co.- 95.0% Trump (17% fully vaccinated)

Hawaii was one of the states that most fully avoided being infected with Trumpism. Just 34.3% of the voters went for him last year. Kalawao is the smallest county in the state and only one person there voted for Trump. The county gave Biden 95.8% of its votes, the reverse of those crazy Texas counties. Vaccination rates by county aren't available but Kalawao hasn't had a single case in the last 2 weeks. A couple of weeks ago, Forbes reported that Hawaii had become the first state in which eligible residents are 90% vaccinated (including virtually everyone over 65 years old and 95% of people between 50 and 64). As of today (2 weeks later) 1,100,615 residents of the state over the age of 11-- 90.9% of the eligible population-- had taken at least one shot 2, well above the 77.3% national rate.

By those same metrics-- at least one shot to people 12 years and older-- the 5 best states and then the 5 worst states:

  • Hawaii- 90.9% vaccinated (34.3% Trump)

  • Massachusetts- 90.2% vaccinated (32.1% Trump)

  • Connecticut- 89.4% vaccinated (39.2% Trump)

  • Vermont- 89.3% vaccinated (30.7% Trump)

  • Rhode Island- 87.9% vaccinated (38.6% Trump)

Poorly vaccinated Idaho doesn't provide these stats by the NY Times COVID page shows that overall, just 43% of the state's residents are fully vaccinated, only West Virginia with a smaller number (41%). So, other than Idaho(remember, at least one shot for everyone 12 and older):

  • West Virginia- 56.0% vaccinated (68.6% Trump)

  • Wyoming- 59.0% vaccinated (69.9% Trump)

  • Mississippi- 60.7% vaccinated (57.6% Trump)

  • Louisiana- 62.7% vaccinated (58.5% Trump)

  • Alabama- 62.9% vaccinated (62.0% Trump)

So why is Hawaii doing so well and shitholes like Wyoming, West Virginia, Idaho and Mississippi doing so badly? The one word answer: morons. Forbes went into it a little more fully. "In the Covid-19 pandemic’s early days," wrote Joe Walsh, "Hawaii imposed one of the nation’s most stringent travel policies. The state ordered everybody who entered the island chain to immediately self-quarantine for two weeks in March 2020, though officials allowed travelers with negative coronavirus tests to skip the quarantine starting last fall, and they exempted vaccinated domestic travelers in July. As a result, visits to the tourism-reliant state plummeted in 2020, causing thousands of leisure and hospitality workers to lose their jobs, but the state’s coronavirus infection rate typically stayed below the national average last year."


The U.S. reports 139,252 cases per million residents, the highest of any big country. Individual states vary drastically. Hawaii has done best with just 58,430 cases per million. Vermont, Maine, Oregon, Maryland and Washington are the other states with low cases per million-- obviously all anti-Trump states. And the hellholes?

  • North Dakota- 187,629 cases per million (65.1% Trump)

  • Tennessee- 185,863 cases per million (60.7% Trump)

  • South Carolina- 172,683 cases per million (55.1% Trump)

  • Alaska- 172,580 cases per million (52.8% Trump)

  • South Dakota- 171,313 cases per million (61.8% Trump)

  • Florida- 171,222 cases per million (51.2% Trump)

  • Wyoming- 171,068 ases per million (69.9% Trump)

  • Arkansas- 168,477 cases per million (62.4% Trump)

  • Mississippi- 168,098 cases per million (57.6% Trump)

Axios had some good news on this front today: "Nationwide, the U.S. is now averaging about 79,000 new cases per day-- a 22% drop over the past two weeks. COVID-19 deaths have fallen by 14% over the same period, to an average of 1,600 per day." Hawaii is doing best. Alaska, Montana and Idaho re doing worst.


Experts are cautiously optimistic that the virus will continue to lose ground throughout the U.S.
Roughly 57% of the U.S. is fully vaccinated, and that number will increase once kids can get the jab. Millions of people also have some level of immunity from a prior infection.
Holiday travel will likely cause some spikes in new cases. The risk will be greatest in places with low vaccination rates, and people who aren’t vaccinated will remain at risk for serious illness and death. But the U.S. as a whole is on the right track.



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