American Nations and the geography of the pandemic

The geography of the U.S. response to the Covid-19 pandemic follows, like so many other things in American life, the fissures of identified in American Nations to a startling degree. I wrote about this briefly back in early April for Washington Monthly, when there was a notable divergence in the public policy response. With the Trump administration abdicating leadership, we’re now seeing the case trends following these regional contours.

With the help of my Press Herald colleague Chad Gilley and the New York Times‘s county-level case data, we crunched and graphed the numbers and presented the results in this article in this week’s Maine Sunday Telegram. There are detailed data tables for each of the eleven “nations” in the sidebar if you click through. It follows the individual liberty vs common good divide I discussed in American Character.

If you’re not familiar with American Nations, here’s the publisher’s book description, a New York Times OpEd on how it trumps the rural/urban divide in US politics; a Washington Monthly piece on how it doomed the Tea Party, another piece on his it drives differences in violence and gun policy, and an analysis of the 2016 presidential election.