This Mesmerizing Graph Shows How Political Views Do (Or Don’t) Spread COVID-19

A very telling animated chart shows how Republican vs. Democratic leadership is contributing to the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S., which has more confirmed cases and deaths than any other country in the world.

A group of demonstrators gathered in Central Park on September 20 to mourn the 200,000+ people who have died from COVID-19 in the U.S., calling for fundamental, systemic changes in the government response to the ongoing pandemic. (Photo by Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A group of demonstrators gathered in Central Park on September 20 to mourn the 200,000+ people who have died from COVID-19 in the U.S., calling for fundamental, systemic changes in the government response to the ongoing pandemic. (Photo by Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images)

A visualization of COVID-19 cases in the United States since June shows how deeply partisan leadership has impacted the spread of the deadly virus.

The animated chart was created by web developer Dan Goodspeed, using data from The New York Times.

The graph, which you can see on his website along with others, was posted to Twitter by writer Anthony Clark and quickly racked up more than 9 million views. Goodspeed himself broke a long Twitter hiatus after his visualization was widely shared.

Goodspeed used states’ political affiliations as determined by the Cook Partisan Voting Index. He wrote on his website, “June 1 was chosen [as the starting date for this graph] as it was around that time that countries worldwide that had been sucker-punched months before had the opportunity to apply proven preventative measures,” referring to social distancing measures, mask-wearing, and city- or statewide shutdowns of bars, restaurants, and other indoor businesses.

“The results suggest a strong correlation between a state’s political leanings and its ability to employ proven science to slow the spread of COVID,” Goodspeed wrote.

Many Republican governors have followed President Trump’s lead of ignoring science and the recommended public health measures in response to the ongoing pandemic. Just two days ago, Trump mocked Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for saying he’ll listen to scientists and infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci — the most popular member of the current administration by far. “Throughout the pandemic, voters have been much more likely to approve of Fauci’s COVID-19 handling than that of Trump, Pence or Congress,” according to recent polling by Morning Consult.

Biden responded to Trump’s mockery on Twitter with a simple: “...yes.”

The Washington Post published a piece Sunday contrasting Republican and Democratic governors’ responses to the crisis, citing health officials who say “an overreliance on personal responsibility … is one of the reasons America’s struggle with the coronavirus has been so destructive, with more than 8 million cases and at least 219,000 people dead.”

The U.S. has more confirmed cases and deaths than any other country in the world.

At least three governors have tested positive for the virus, plus the president himself. Two are Republican, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt and Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, and the third is Democratic Gov. of Virginia Ralph Northam. Another Republican governor, Mike DeWine of Ohio, tested positive in a rapid-result test but then received a negative result in a separate test hours later.

In recent weeks, there has been a COVID-19 outbreak among Republican senators, officials and staffers after a Supreme Court nomination ceremony for Amy Coney Barrett at the White House disregarded social distancing and mask-wearing measures. It has since been deemed a “super-spreader event” by Dr. Fauci and others.

Republican leaders “from President Trump on down send misleading messages and model dangerous behavior,” The Post wrote.

The Trump administration and GOP attorneys general are also leading the charge in the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act, which would leave millions of Americans without health care coverage during a pandemic.