The Committee To Unleash Prosperity (CUP) has released the most comprehensive analysis to date on how states have handled the COVID-19 crisis. These results were also published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
The State Report Card measures and compares state performance on three metrics: economy, education, and virus mortality. It answers the question: how have states managed to balance the health of their citizens, keep their economies functioning and limit job losses, and keep their schools open so that the children of school age do not suffer long-term educational setbacks.
Each of these three measures was weighted equally. The states that received an F grade were New Jersey, New York, California, Illinois and Washington, DC. These states scored poorly on every measure. They had high age-adjusted mortality rates; they had high unemployment and large GDP losses, and they kept their schools closed much longer than almost any other state.
The top performers were Utah, Nebraska and Vermont with Montana and Florida close behind.
The study verifies other studies that found the lockdown of businesses, stores, churches, schools and restaurants had almost no impact on health outcomes in any state. States with strict lockdowns performed almost no better on Covid death rates than states that remained mostly open for business.
The study also found that keeping schools closed had almost no impact on child or adult death rates, but had serious implications for students’ academic progress.
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You can read the full study here: https://committeetounleashprosperity.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Which-States-Handled-the-Covid-Pandemic-Best.pdf