Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Who Americans voted for in 2016 is a strong predictor of how they reacted to the deadliest pandemic in a century, according to a new study published in Nature.

Why it matters: The coronavirus doesn't care who someone voted for; it infects and kills whenever it is given the opportunity. By doing less social distancing, Republicans are giving it more opportunities, with predictable results.

The big picture: "Partisan differences in physical distancing were linked to higher growth rates of infections and fatalities in pro-Trump counties than necessary," the authors write.

Details: Using the geotracking data of about 15 million people per day, the study found that counties that voted for President Trump in 2016 saw a 24% decrease in movement and visits to non-essential services between March 9 and May 29 of this year. Counties that voted for Hillary Clinton saw a 38% drop.

  • This partisan gap remained after factoring in variables like counties' coronavirus case counts, population density, income, racial makeup and age makeup.
  • The study also found that less physical distancing was linked to higher coronavirus infection rates 17–23 days later, and an increase in fatality rates 25–31 days later.
  • "These results imply that Trump-leaning counties could have curbed their infection and fatality growth rates if they had distanced to the same degree as Clinton-leaning counties did," the authors conclude.

Between the lines: Although the authors thought they'd see the partisan gap decrease as the pandemic got worse over the spring, it actually increased with time.

  • And stay-at-home orders only exacerbated the gap, as they were more effective in Democratic counties.
  • The partisan response is likely at least partially attributable to Americans' polarized media consumption. The study found that counties that consumed more Fox News than Democratic-leaning outlets like MSNBC and CNN had less physical distancing.
  • "Republican-leaning media downplaying the virus at the start of the pandemic may have signaled to Republicans that they should not take the virus very seriously, in turn potentially in part causing the observed partisan differences," the authors write.

What we're watching: It seems very unlikely that this dynamic has changed since the end of May.

  • And regardless of who wins the presidency, it also seems unlikely that pandemic partisanship — or Fox News — is going away any time soon.
  • That cake is baked.

Go deeper

22 hours ago - Health

WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release"

A medical syringe and vial with fake coronavirus vaccine in front of the World Health Organization (WHO) logo. Photo Illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Top scientists at the World Health Organization on Friday called for more detailed information on a coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

Why it matters: Oxford and AstraZeneca have said the vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses. AstraZeneca has since acknowledged that the smaller dose received by some participants was the result of an error by a contractor, per the New York Times.

Updated 21 hours ago - Sports

NFL reschedules Thanksgiving matchup for second time due to COVID outbreak

Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

The NFL has once again postponed a Baltimore Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers matchup originally scheduled for primetime on Thanksgiving day due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

Why it matters: It's the first time the league has had to scrap a game since October, as the U.S. copes with another surge in coronavirus infections heading into the holidays.

In photos: Black Friday shopping across the U.S.

Customers shop at Macys on Nov. 27 in New York City. Photo: Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images

Many Americans braved shopping malls and department stores to shop in-person on Black Friday.

Why it matters: Coronavirus infections are still on the rise across much of the U.S. during a season of travel and holiday gatherings. Hospitals across the country, especially in rural areas, are still overwhelmed.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!