Reproduced from Kaiser Family Foundation; Data from The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

Republican governors run a big risk — both to public health and their own political fortunes — if they open up their economies too soon, without adequate safeguards.

The big picture: The hardest-hit areas so far have mostly been in states with Democratic governors. But the number of coronavirus cases is now increasing more quickly in states with Republican governors.

By the numbers: Coronavirus cases and deaths are both higher in Democratic states than in Republican ones, even after adjusting for population. 

  • However, over the last two weeks, reported infections have increased 91% in red states versus 63% in blue states. 
  • We see the same pattern for COVID-19 deaths: 170% growth in red states vs. 104% in blue states.

Driving the news: Texas has begun easing its lockdown measures, and other red states are also moving quickly. Florida has reopened some beaches, and some southern states in particular never locked down as tightly as the Northeast and West coast.

  • Yes. but: Every governor wants to open up when they can to get the economy going, and there are some Democratic governors who are also taking steps to ease distancing measures.

Between the lines: The core of the Republican base in white, rural areas is at risk. 

  • 20% of people living in non-metro areas are older than 65, compared with 15% in metro areas.
  • And rural residents under 65 are more likely to have pre-existing health conditions (26%), compared to their urban counterparts (20%).

The bottom line: Polls show that Republicans are far more likely than Democrats to think that the worst is behind us when it comes to COVID-19. 

  • That may be partly because they, and the Republican governors, think this is largely someone else’s problem. It isn’t.

Go deeper

Updated 15 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced all domestic pandemic restrictions will be lifted in New Zealand from midnight Monday except in Auckland, where they'll be eased late Wednesday.

The big picture: Ardern delayed the country's election until Oct. 17 as authorities work to stamp out a coronavirus cluster in Auckland, after the re-emergence of COVID-19. There have been single-digit or zero domestic cases in NZ's most populous city since the government reintroduced restrictions.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 31,103,347 — Total deaths: 961,435— Total recoveries: 21,281,441Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 6,813,984 — Total deaths: 199,525 — Total recoveries: 2,590,671 — Total tests: 95,108,559Map.
  3. Health: CDC updates guidances to say coronavirus can be spread through the air Nursing homes are evicting unwanted patients.
  4. Politics: Testing czar on Trump's CDC contradictions: "Everybody is right."
  5. Education: College students give failing grade on return to campus.
  6. Business: Unemployment concerns are growing.
  7. World: "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.
Aug 12, 2020 - World

Lebanon reports coronavirus record: UN warns Beirut blast may drive cases higher

Protesters commemorate on Tuesday the victims of Beirut's Aug. 4 port explosion, which killed at least 158 people and injured some 6,000 others. Photo: Marwan Naamani/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

Lebanon reported on Tuesday seven deaths from COVID-19 and a record 309 new cases, taking the total number of infections to over 7,100.

Why it matters: World Organization official Tarik Jarasevic told a UN briefing in Geneva Tuesday that the displacement of some 300,000 people from the deadly explosion in Beirut's port could lead to a surge in cases. A UN report warns the emergency "has caused many COVID-19 precautionary measures to be relaxed, raising the prospects of even higher transmission rates and a large caseload in coming weeks," Reuters notes.