It is becoming increasingly depressingly obvious that America is becoming two distinct countries as it celebrates its 245th anniversary. A blue and a red America, with very little in common and drastically different economic and health outcomes.
American society has become so divided that voting and where you live can have life- and death consequences. This phenomenon is best illustrated by the increasing red state/blue-state division over Covod-19 vaccines. This is yet another example of how polarization, and not Trump's divisive presidency is transforming American society.
The White House announced in June that the U.S. would not meet President Joe Biden's goal to get 70% of American adults at least one shot with the Covid-19 vaccine by July 4.
Only 18 states have reached the mark of 70 percent for vaccines, while Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia are the others. All of them support Biden in the 2020 presidential race.
It's quite different in the states where Donald Trump was elected president. The vaccination rate hovers around 50% in the South, where Trump won a majority of the vote. Only two states, Mississippi and Louisiana, are below this mark, while three other states (Alabama and Tennessee) are barely above it. The rates are similar in the west with Idaho and Wyoming trailing the rest of the country.
Seth Masket, Center on American Politics at University of Denver, has compiled data that shows that the correlation between the vote of states and the percentage of their citizens who have been vaccinated almost matches.
Masket claims that vaccinations are more predictive of state voting patterns in 2020 then education, racial composition or any other demographic factors.
Red-state America could be facing yet another wave in Covid-19 cases, as the deadly and highly contagious Delta variant is spreading throughout the country.
This is just one example of America's fractured politics. Voters don't just choose candidates based on their "D" or "R" next the name. They also make health decisions based on the same criteria.
In the past, many American states experienced similar increases in life expectancy. All boats tend to increase as one. Residents of the northeastern and western US (which are overwhelmingly Democratic) live longer, healthier lives today than those in the GOP-voting South or Appalachia.
The gap between Hawaii (the state with the longest life expectancy) and Mississippi (which had the lowest, was seven years. The greatest gains in life expectancy have been made by white men living in large metropolitan areas. However, the gains for non-metropolitan white men have been much smaller.