- Counties that are experiencing some of the worst COVID-19 surges have overwhelmingly voted for President Donald Trump in this year's presidential election, the Associated Press reported.
- Trump won the majority of votes in more than 90% of the 376 US counties with the highest number of new COVID-19 cases per capita.
- Most of those were rural areas in Midwestern states, where there is high opposition to social distancing and face mask guidelines.
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President Donald Trump won the support of voters in more than 90% of the 376 US counties with the highest number of new COVID-19 cases per capita, the Associated Press reported.
The AP highlighted that most of those counties were rural areas in Midwestern states like Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Those regions have generally been hesitant about, or opposed to social distancing and face mask measures used to quell the spread of the virus.
Michaela Lane, a 25-year-old Republican from Phoenix, voted for Trump.
"I feel like the most important issue facing the country as a whole is liberty at large," Lane told the AP. "Infringing on people's freedom, government overrule, government overreach, chaos in a lot of issues currently going on and just giving people back their rights."
The US has consistently beaten records for new single-day cases over the past week. On Thursday, a record 116,000 new cases, surpassing the previous record set just the day before of 103,000 new cases.
There have been over 9.6 million infections in the US with more than 234,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
While public health experts have opposed Trump's response to the pandemic, they're now taking note of how their communities have voted.
"Public health officials need to step back, listen to, and understand the people who aren't taking the same stance," Marcus Plescia of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials told the AP.
Experts have long warned of the need to use masks and socially distance in order to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus. Meanwhile, Trump and his administration have repeatedly downplayed the threat, and have sought to take a "herd-immunity" approach to the pandemic, a move that many public health professionals have said would lead to more unnecessary deaths.
This week, Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of the White House coronavirus task force in an internal report warned top officials in President Donald Trump's administration that without "much more aggressive action" the pandemic could enter the "most deadly phase" yet, and said the US could see as many as 100,000 cases a day this week.
Birx reportedly felt the administration was minimizing her warnings.
However, while experts have said the pandemic could have been handled better, voters are apparently split on that issue.
A nationwide survey of more than 110,000 voters conducted for the AP by NORC at the University of Chicago found that 36% of Trump voters described the pandemic as completely or mostly under control, and another 47% said it was somewhat under control. More than 80% of voters for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said the pandemic was not under control at all.