Red states are leading the nation in economic recovery after COVID-19 and the lockdown-induced recession.
As indicated by the Back-to-Normal Index, a project of Moody’s Analytics and CNN Business, states that avoided or quickly removed aggressive COVID-19 responses tended to outperform states that lingered in reopening.
The economies of South Dakota and Florida are performing at 106% and 101% of pre-COVID strength, respectively. Rhode Island, Nebraska, and Idaho are all functioning at 100% pre-pandemic capacity. Other top states for economic recovery are West Virginia (98%), Nevada (97%), Montana (97%), Iowa (97%), and Arizona (96%).
Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) did not issue a lockdown order in the spring of 2020. Indeed, a recent survey indicated that South Dakota — in a tie with Idaho — ranked fourth in the country for state-to-state migration.
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) was among the first governors to rescind his state’s COVID-19 restrictions — a move that even earned DeSantis accolades from Florida Democrats.
Americans living in some GOP-led states could lose their unemployment benefits this week, almost three months before the extra aid is slated to end.
At least 25 states led by Republican governors decided in May and June to prematurely drop out of several pandemic relief programs, including those that provided an extra $300 a week on top of regular state unemployment benefits and expanded eligibility for jobless aid. The supplemental benefits are not poised to expire until Sept. 6.