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UW Politcal Science Researchers Featured on UW News, "Republican governors delayed key COVID-19 social distancing measures"

Submitted by Stephen Dunne on April 3, 2020 - 12:00pm

"States led by Republican governors and with a significant share of Trump supporters were an average of nearly three days later than other states to enact social distancing measures related to the COVID-19 outbreak, according to a new study."

Based on research being done on why some states have not enacted the social distancing policy and why it took some states longer to enact the policy on the COVID-19 outbreak which is projected to cause about 84,000 to 200,000 deaths. The lead author of the research Christopher Adolph, an associate professor of political science at the UW, looked into whether the adoption of state-level social distancing measures depends on the number of coronavirus cases in the state, the affluence of the state, and the partisanship of the state’s governor and voters. Adolph and his team analyzed the measures that states enacted with other data, such as the number of COVID-19 cases in each state, how neighboring states were responding, each governor’s political party and each state’s voter turnout for Trump in 2016.

The team found that partisanship – especially when a state has a Republican governor, as well as the share of the statewide vote for Trump — led to delays in enacting social distancing. That “combined partisan effect” coincided with a delay of 2.7 days, the team found. Partisanship had a greater effect than other variables, including the number of confirmed cases in each state, researchers said. The number of confirmed cases, for example, influenced state action by less than half a day. The rest of the article then talks about precautionary actions all states should take, including those with fewer COVID-19 cases.

For the full article please link here.