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Florida, Texas, and California Have a Fraction of Covid Deaths of New York

As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases surged in Florida, Texas, and Arizona over the past six weeks a breathless media covered the daily numbers with fever pitch intensity. America was in the grips of a second wave they gleefully reported, the deaths we’d seen in New York were now poised to descend upon red states that had opened up too quickly.

The Republican governors of Florida, Texas, and Arizona — Ron DeSantis, Greg Abbott, and Doug Ducey — were lampooned by the national media for their failures. Fear porn laden death predictions came rolling out — we were about to see death on a massive scale in these states. New York’s governor Andrew Cuomo, the worst performing politician in the 21st century, had the audacity to lecture these governors and accuse them of playing politics with the virus.

And then, just as the media feeding frenzy was poised to take off to unimaginable levels, the deaths never came.

The peaks of these hospitalization outbreaks in Florida, Texas, and Arizona came and went and look at the results left behind: New York is still off the charts when it comes to coronavirus deaths and the governors of Florida, Texas, and Arizona have done a pretty good job of keeping their economies, hospitals, and states open while managing the virus increases. Their results were not similar at all to New York’s.

Here are the deaths per 1 million rate in this country for all fifty states:

1. New Jersey 1,792
2. New York 1,685
3. Massachusetts 1,253
4. Connecticut 1,243
5. Rhode Island 953
6. Louisiana 863
7. Michigan 647
8. Illinois 609
9. Delaware 601
10. Maryland 583
11. Mississippi 572
12. Pennsylvania 570
13. Arizona 519
14. Indiana 442
15. Georgia 362
16. South Carolina 345
17. Florida 333
18. Alabama 333
19. Colorado 320
20. New Mexico 312
21. New Hampshire 307
22. Ohio 303
23. Minnesota 293
24. Iowa 279
25. Nevada 271
26. Virginia 260
27. Texas 253
28. California 238
29. Missouri 214
30. Washington 209
31. North Carolina 191
32. Nebraska 172
33. Kentucky 166
34. Wisconsin 163
35. Tennessee 157
36. Arkansas 154
37. South Dakota 153
38. Oklahoma 139
39. North Dakota 138
40. Kansas 123
41. Idaho 110
42. Utah 97
43. Maine 92
44. Vermont 91
45. Oregon 77
46. West Virginia 65
47. Montana 60
48. Wyoming 45
49. Alaska 33
50. Hawaii 18

As you can see, Arizona, Texas and Florida have done infinitely better managing this virus than New York did and, quite honestly, the states aren’t particularly remarkable within the context of the other fifty states coronavirus death rates.

But you also see something else on this chart, look how much worse New York (and New Jersey) are than any other state in the country. In fact, it’s not just that New York and New Jersey are awful compared to the other states in this country. These two states literally have the worst death rate in the entire world.

By a huge margin.

Look at the data comparing New York and New Jersey to death rates anywhere else in the world on a per capita basis:

New Jersey 1,792
New York 1,685
Belgium 849
England 680
Spain 608
Peru 594
Italy 582
Sweden 568
Chile 502
United States 478

I mean, this is flat out unbelievable.

There were five northeastern states with a higher coronavirus death rate than anywhere else in the world.

Which is why the number one story in America ought to be the divergent outcomes in the nation’s four most populous states. California, Florida and Texas have managed the coronavirus with minimal loss of life while New York’s disastrous situation has continued to slide under the radar. But as more data comes rolling in New York’s performance looks worse and worse.

Put frankly, it’s impossible to have done a worse job than Andrew Cuomo did.

That’s especially the case given the fact that Florida, Texas, and California all now have more confirmed cases than New York and a fraction of the death rate.

Consider total confirmed cases as of this morning:

California 515,686
Florida 491,884
Texas 454,364
New York 445,146

Now look at the total deaths:

New York 32,780
California 9,400
Texas 7,341
Florida 7,157

That’s pretty glaring. How is every media member not looking at this data and asking the question, “How is it possible that New York has fewer cases and more deaths than California, Texas, and Florida combined? Especially when Florida, Texas, and California have 90 million people living in their three states compared to New York’s 19.5 million.”

Why are the media in this country protecting Andrew Cuomo from answering real questions about why New York’s death rate is higher than any countries in the world? And why is that New York’s death rate is also so much higher than every other populous state. Remember, the virus didn’t hit New York first, it hit Washington and California first.

Indeed, New York’s bungled response to this virus led to almost every other outbreak in this country. (The people who fled New York spread it across the entire country.)

Which is why New York’s data becomes even more troubling when you break it down by population.

Look at the death rate per 1 million in our nation’s four most populous states:

New York 1,685
Florida 333
Texas 253
California 238

New York (and New Jersey) have the two highest coronavirus death rates in the world. In. The. World. If New York had a death rate equal to the average of Florida, Texas, or California, our nation’s three most populous states, it would have had 4,100 people die instead of 32,780. There’s no other way to put this: the leadership of New York governor Andrew Cuomo — and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio — directly contributed to tens of thousands of additional, and unnecessary, deaths in New York state.

This is arguably criminal mismanagement by New York’s elected politicians. Yet almost no one in the media is looking at the basic data and asking how such wildly divergent outcomes are possible in our nation’s most populous states. Instead the fear porn purveyors in the media have been trying to convince you that Florida, Texas, and Arizona — which just so happen to have Republican governors — were all going to turn into red state versions of New York.

Only…it didn’t happen.

Or even come close to happening.

Indeed, Florida today reported its lowest number of new daily infections in over a month — 4,866, the lowest positive case percentage in over a month as well, and a decline in deaths of 60% from last Monday.

Want an even wilder stat? This is for our buddy, King of the Coronabros, Darren Rovell, the 11 state SEC footprint, that’s Florida, Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Louisiana have fewer deaths than New York state by itself.

That’s despite the 11 SEC states having a population of over 100 million compared to New York’s 19.5 million.

If New York State had been able to equal the same coronavirus performance as the SEC states, New York would have had 26,000 fewer deaths.

Put simply, this protection of Andrew Cuomo is insanity.

We don’t really have a nationwide coronavirus issue, we had a complete collapse of governance in the northeast back in March and April and it led to a panic that caused tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths.

Rather than try to scare you to death with fear porn laden stories about outbreaks producing a pinprick of deaths compared to New York, every media member covering the coronavirus should be investigating New York and other northeastern states and find out what went wrong there.

Politicians in New York didn’t just do an awful job of protecting their states, they may have been criminally negligent.

Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is an author, radio show host, lawyer, TV analyst, and the founder of OutKick (formerly known as Outkick the Coverage).
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16 Comments

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  1. Hey Clay,
    Thank you for presenting the facts so we can remember the reality of the situation!
    NY Governor Cuomo is certainly THE KING of the HILL !!!
    It never ceases to amaze me that given all the potential threats New York City faces as a world financial hub, a world travel hub, a world destination for tourism and for politics (the UN — East River at 42nd Street)…this governor can easily be compared to the Roman emperor, Nero. Nuff said for me.
    Thank you, Clay.

  2. Its mind boggling every time I hear someone say they wish the country handled Covid-19 the way Cuomo did. If we did, there would be at least 400,000 more dead nationwide. Its bonkers the way the media has made Cuomo into this hero.

  3. If the most populous Blue States (other than CA) performed as well as CA, FL, and TX, the US would have about 65,000 fewer deaths from the Corona Virus. Without these excess deaths, the US death rate per million would be 273 per million, which would place the US at number 20 in the world. Canada, which has been lauded by the media for its performance is 24th at 237 deaths per million.

    The media have not reported this honestly because they want to provide cover for Blue State governors while portraying the Trump Administration as inept. Another egregious media whiff has been its non-reporting on the accuracy of Corona Virus data from China. China’s “official” Corona Virus death count is 4,634, which equates to a death rate of 3 per million. Does anyone believe the Corona Virus numbers (or anything else) from China?

  4. Just maybe the reported death count in New York is not accurate?
    I understand that the state and the local hospitals receive a much larger check from the federal government for Covid 19 deaths.
    On a positive note, I understand they had the lowest number of deaths from the flu this year ever reported…..

  5. I remember Cuomo sending infected patients back to nursing homes. Catastrophic blunder. Like Chris just questioned, we know elderly are vulnerable. They aren’t working anymore. What is the death rate of those that are still working? Why in the hell did we destroy this economy for what I assume is a very small number of Americans?

  6. In addition to decision that required NY nursing homes to take in COVID 19 positive patients, NYC did not begin to disinfect its subway system until the beginning of May.

  7. Clay,

    I respect a lot of what you say, even though I don’t always agree. But I do feel compelled to propose that your coronavirus take, mainly your NY thing and persistent use of Andrew Cuomo as a whipping boy, is off base and reflects weak analysis of the data.

    I became a VIP because I want to be a member of any club that would bring in Jason Whitlock and because, although I’m not “conservative,” I’m absolutely not “woke.” I like to think of myself as a doctrinaire centrist. It’s not, as some say, because I want both sides to love me; actually, I’m aware that nowadays, more often than not, both sides hate me. I’m just a firm believer in the universal principle espoused by the likes of Aristotle and Lao Tzu that extremes never hold and always self destruct, consistent with what history has shown us time after time.

    For the record, I live in NYC, Manhattan, a few blocks away from where the Navy hospital ship was docked and spend a lot of time in Jackson Heights, which, thanks to Elmhurst Hospital, became world famous as the boiling point of the hottest of covid hot spots. So my view of the data is supplemented by a lot of first-hand on-the-ground observation. And by the way, such observation is not cheating . . . any competent analytics person would point out the importance of “domain knowledge” the absence of which makes it easy for those who lack it to opine and sound foolish. (I deal with this in my day job every day, as “quants” put out incredibly stupid research because, as I like to quip, although they know noting about evaluating a business of comprehending financial statements).

    Coronavirus didn’t hit the world with full force at day one. It came on gradually and initially bore many characteristics to the flu, albeit a harsh strain. But there’s a reason why infectious disease specialists cal it the “novel cornavirus” (it’s actually the 19th version). As we gradually learned, we’re dealing with something completely new. So places like New York that got hit early did not have any way of knowing what, exactly, we were dealing with. Even the CDC at first urged people to avoid wearing masks, and stayed with that position for quite while in order, so they said, to preserve availability for medical personnel. Add to the lack of knowledge the nature of NY City, which is unique in the UD not just for its population density but also in the way people get around. Like many many many New Yorkers, I don’t own a car. Many of us get around on public transit. So everybody kept crowding into subways, commuter railroads and busses back when the the virus was little known and spreading quietly.

    Data, including the death rates you posted, is meaningless without context and in the field of analytics, it’s important to benchmark — to try to compare what the data is to what it is “expected” to be given relevant circumstances. I’ll leave it to medical science to compute (as best they can) what “expected death rates” were, but even basic common sense has to tell us that expected death rates in NYC, a place with extreme density and extreme ordinary social closeness and a place through which countless travelers routinely pass, has to be far far higher than in the southern states whose covid handling you praise. Actually, medical experts did compute expected death rates and that’s why we got the Navy Hospital ship, why the Javits Center was converted for hospital use, and why Cuomo was so vociferous in trying to bring in more ventilators. And that’s why nursing home patients had to remain there — forgetting projections, hospital ERs were already instructing paramedics not to revive coronary patients in ambulances because ERs couldn’t handle them (this, the media did not know; I heard this directly from hospital workers).

    But once we started to figure out what, exactly, were were dealing with, Cuomo took the lead in vigorous response. He quickly impose a tight lockdown and kept tightening as needed, and reopened very slowly based entirely on data benchmarks, not social media pressure or political shouting. And he’s been quick to respond to slackening in social pressure by postponing steps in cases where there’s too much public non-compliance. The result was a quick AND SO FAR SUSTAINABLE plunge in coronavirus to the point where deaths-per100000 in NY now are far below those of the Southern stats you hold up as models of excellence. That NY’s per-day per-100000 death rate (0.12) should, given its density, EVER fall below those of any southern state (TX 0.60; AZ 1.34, FL 0.70, etc. https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/new-york – hover over a state for the latest) is a disgrace to the latter, and those governors are the one’;s who, had they been in Samurai Japan, would be compelled to commit ritual suicide. That the Navy ship and the Javits Center turned out to have bene unnecessary is not an inducement of Cuomo; it’s exactly the opposite, the result of his having driven performance that was far superior to expected results.

    You can follow NYC’s data easily here: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-data.page

    Clay, I respect what you do, but you may want to consider taking a page from another person I respect, Colin Cowherd, who does his weekly “Where Colin Was Right, Where Colin Was Wrong” segment. I think this is one for “Where Clay Was Wrong.”

  8. I agree that in the early days, we did not know exactly what we were dealing with (still don’t, in my opinion), and of course hindsight is 20/20 so I am hesitant too, to pile on any Governor, or public official too much. Yet, I don’t believe Clay’s analysis is poor, and believe strongly, as I believe Clay does, that this became political very early, and so many decisions have been motivated to make it more likely of the removal of the sitting President (unprecedented lock downs, etc), thus taking the focus off any in depth analysis of Cuomo’s performance.

    Of course, we have to acknowledge, we had not, up to this point, seen much of any evidence of those that lost the 2016 election doing anything nefarious to oust the President like spying on a Presidential campaign under false pretenses, supporting a three year investigation regarding collusion that never happened with a foreign power, a misguided impeachment ironically that his current opponent raises more ethical considerations with than himself, and 90% negative news coverage from day one, something an Administration has never had to deal with. So, I can understand why one might be skeptical about my accusation that COVID decisions were and are still mostly political.

    Anyhow, I agree comparing NY to other less densely populated states should be noted, but what about other countries who have major cities densely populated like NY that rely heavily on mass transportation? And I believe it is completely fair to criticize the decision to order infected seniors back into nursing homes to free up hospitals. Why wouldn’t you have said, we are not sure yet how contagious this is, or how impactful this will be to seniors, but common sense tells us seniors are always a higher risk group in almost any health issue and we know this country will take actions to help if the hospitals are crushed (hence the medical ships, etc), so certainly sending them back to potentially infect other seniors is not wise, especially if they will all be locked down in such close quarters.

    Your comments show a very thoughtful person Marc, and I like your honesty about who you are. I also think the NY Governor is more culpable than you point out.

  9. Nicely said, William.

    The Trump administration provided NYC with additional 4,000 hospital beds, which went virtually used. The availability of these extra hospital beds eviscerates the logic behind NY’s nursing home order, which was to free up hospital beds. After being introduced into NY nursing homes, the Corona Virus spread like wild fire among the high risk patients, which in turn drove more hospitalizations and deaths.

    Also, there is no clear evidence that general lockdowns are effective in managing down the spread of the Coronavirus. General lockdowns are a blunt tool that result in widespread economic and social destruction. The same set of states that lead in Covid death rates due to following NY’s nursing home policy are now leading in unemployment rates: MA @ 17.4%; NJ @ 16.6%; and NY @ 15.7%

    I think it is sad that Clay needs to spend as much time as he does analyzing the data on Corona Virus. The non-sports news media should be covering this story with greater objectivity and diligence, which is what journalists used to do in the olden, golden days of yore. Since journalists no longer practice journalism, it a dirty job that a sports-media guy stepped up to do as a value-added service to American society. Thanks, Clay!

  10. “believe strongly, as I believe Clay does, that this became political very early”

    That’s been the key to almost all dialogue re: covid on both sides. That’s why I decided, from very early days, to read no media at all and go only to the data . . . the web site to which I linked in my comment — and form my opinion. Essentially, the Michael Bloomberg mantra: In God we trust, all others bring data.” And again, when reading data-points, they must always be read in the context of “expected” data points.

    That is the basis for my defense of Cuomo . . . he read the data, acted on it, and dramatically outperformed expectations, and adjusted his knowledge as information evolved.My critique of the Southern governors is that they acted on the basis of politics and underperformed expectations; there was no excuse for ANY spring uptrend experienced there and there is no excuse for still-current current per-100000 death rates in excess of what NYC now has.

    Clay, are you reading this? I truly believe your constant antic-Cuomo vendetta based on non-benchmarked out-of-context data is, if it continues, eventually going to damage what otherwise strikes me as a good, important, need-to-be-heard brand.

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