News Release

Republicans Dying at Higher Rates Since Vaccine Rollout Began


Earlier this month, The Intercept reported that “a new study has concluded what many Americans have long suspected: The Covid-19 pandemic has killed more Republicans than Democrats.” In the study, the National Bureau of Economic Research found that “significantly more Republicans than Democrats have died from the virus” since the initial vaccine rollout in 2021. 

    Wallace is an assistant professor of public health at the Yale School of Public Health.

Wallace, one of the study’s co-authors, told the Institute for Public Accuracy: “Our results build on an important, prior literature that documented that Republican-leaning counties have had higher Covid-19 mortality rates than Democratic-leaning counties. However, to our knowledge, we are the first to demonstrate that there exists a link between political party affiliation and excess death rates during the Covid-19 pandemic at the individual level. This is important, as Republican- and Democratic-leaning counties differ on many dimensions so it can be difficult to attribute differences in Covid-19 mortality to political party affiliation rather than other factors that differ at the county level.

“Because we have detailed information on individuals’ age and county of residence, our comparisons are adjusted for differences in excess death rates by age and county––so can be thought of as demonstrating that Republican voters have higher excess death rates than Democratic voters of the same age that reside in the same counties as them.

“We hope that the primary focus remains on avoiding unnecessary death and disease. Our results suggest that political party affiliation only became a risk factor in Ohio and Florida after vaccines were widely available. Hence, if the well-documented differences in vaccine rates by party affiliation persist, we are worried that we may continue to see higher excess death rates among Republican voters through the subsequent stages of the pandemic. We hope that our findings spur continued efforts to communicate—via trusted messengers whenever possible— the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.”