LETTER: Comparing stats

In a letter submitted recently, an attempt was made to argue that Florida had greater success in handling the COVID-19 pandemic due to their Republican governor and loose restrictions.

Florida, with a population of over 21 million, compared to Washington’s 7 million, is not easily comparable. COVID-19 spreads in waves that are largely geographic, and comparing a two-month timeline between two states that are so geographically separated provides warped statistics.

Arizona has a Republican governor, a population of around 7 million, and is geographically closer to Washington. It provides a more accurate comparison.

In 2020, Arizona lost 0.03 percent of its population to COVID-19, while Washington lost only 0.01 percent.

Also, in 2020, Arizona had over 400,000 more COVID-19 cases than Washington state.

During 2020, Arizona had significantly looser restrictions on business owners and individuals than Washington, and the effectiveness of these restrictions can be seen very clearly through case and death numbers.

As far as economic impacts, Arizona’s unemployment rate averaged 6.5 percent between April 2021 and September 2021.

During the same period, Washington’s averaged 5.2 percent.

The statistics clearly show that stricter restrictions do not inherently come with higher unemployment rates and negative economic impacts.

Statistics can be warped to support any cause when they are not comprehensive.

Looking at a two-month period with little to no significant changes in policies is insufficient data to generalize the effectiveness of Democratic vs. Republican leadership.

Emily Menshew

Port Angeles