New Study Reveals Which States Handled the Pandemic Best

New Study Reveals Which States Handled the Pandemic Best

( – When the COVID-19 pandemic began, governors across the country tried to balance their response to the deadly virus with the needs of their state. In some cases, they did it by completely upending their economies and shutting everything down. Other states (albeit very few of them) largely stayed open for business. A new study indicates which states had the best responses to the pandemic.

Winners and Losers

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) published its study at the beginning of April. The authors of the study – the Committee to Unleash Prosperity’s Stephen Moore, Casey Mulligan and Phil Kerpen – compared COVID-19 outcomes in all 50 states and Washington, DC. They measured the outcomes against three variables: mortality, the economy, and education.

Utah received the best score of the bunch. The state did well across all three of the categories, coming in fifth in education (measured how many in-person days the schools had), fourth in the economy, and eighth in mortality. The mortality rate was adjusted for a state’s prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and age because those were the driving factors that led to deaths during the pandemic. In second and third place were Nebraska and Vermont, respectively. All three of the states received A+ ratings and all have Republican governors.

New Jersey came in last place in the overall rating. The state scored 41st in education, 50th in the economy, and 42nd in mortality. Washington, DC and New York were in 50th and 49th place on the list, respectively. Both of the states and DC were run by Democrats who put extremely restrictive policies in place to allegedly keep people safe. The states each received an F- rating by the researchers.


Governor Ron DeSantis (R) propelled Florida into the spotlight during the pandemic because he refused to shut the state down in order to appease the morality police. For a short period of time, state parks, restaurants, and bars were shut down in the Sunshine State but the restrictions didn’t last long.

The Republican governor took a lot of heat for his decision to keep Florida open, but according to the new study, it paid off. The state received an A rating and came in sixth place overall. DeSantis’ state ranked 3rd in education, 13th in the economy, and 28th in adjusted mortality rate.


When the pandemic was at its peak, the media and political pundits made it seem as though Republicans, like DeSantis, were immoral and dangerous. The new study shows the GOP had it right.

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Robin Cooper is a passionate writer thrilled to share her love of research on Absolute News. Focus on quality and well-researched factual information is critical to Robin. Check back often to see what she has to say.