In a campaign stop in Manitowoc, WI on Sept. 21, 2020, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden struck back at an assertion Republican President Donald Trump had made earlier in the month about coronavirus deaths: That so-called “blue states” were driving the country’s high death rates.
“If you just count all the deaths in the red states, we are number two in the world in deaths, just behind Brazil,” Biden said.
POLITIFACT, the web site that allegedly fact checks statements like this gave Biden a Mostly True Reading. OH REALLY!
They asserted that Biden is mostly on track in claiming that if red states somehow were split off, they would still account for the second-highest death counts in the world, depending on how you define red and blue states.
POLITIFACT looked at RED STATES, those that went for Trump in 2016 and recorded 97,329 deaths in total as of Sept. 28, 2020.
Let compare RED STATES and BLUE STATES.
I used statistics for today, 10/4/2020 from: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/ a web site that records daily COVID-19 statistics. Here is what I found:
POLITIFACT stated that 30 Red States went for Trump in 2016. You can see that over 100,00 deaths from COVID-19 occurred in those 30 states.
I was curious about BLUE STATES which Biden didn’t bother to mention in Manitowoc. Here is what I found for 10/4/2020:
There were 20 BLUE STATES and the Washington DC that went for Clinton in 2016.
You can see that COVID-19 deaths were higher in these BLUE STATES.
I then noticed that the total population of the RED STATES was 45,340,673 higher than the BLUE STATES.
What that means is that COVID-19 deaths as a percentage of the total population is 2.20% in the RED STATES but 3.85% in BLUE STATES. I consider that to be a considerable difference, but we can debate that.
This also proves President Trump’s assertion that BLUE STATES were driving the country’s COVID-19 death rates.
I rate Joe Biden’s claim as FALSE on two points: the higher total COVID-19 deaths (108,536) in the BLUE STATES and the percentage of deaths to the total population (3.85%) in the BLUE STATES.
Finally, POLITIFACT is notorious for twisting facts to suit the conclusions they want to draw. In this case that President Trump was wrong and Joe Bide was correct. However, digging deeper into the details shows just how POLITIFACT can distort facts.