Hawaii ranks near bottom of report on COVID-19 policy effects
From: The Center Square
The Center Square) – Hawaii ranked near the bottom in an analysis from the National Bureau of Economic Research, which measured COVID-19-related outcomes in the states.
The report measured states’ pandemic policies based on health outcomes, economic performance and impact on education.
Hawaii is unusual because it is an island state, the report’s authors said.
“It ranks last on the economic index and sixth from last on schooling,” the authors wrote in the report. “As of March 2022, it ranks first on health. Understood in the context of island nations such as Australia and New Zealand, the experience of Hawaii suggests that island locations can, by sustaining significant economic losses, reduce mortality for a year or more.”
Hawaii also ranked low for its economy because it relies heavily on tourism, according to the report. The state implemented a Safe Travels Program that required visitors to show proof of vaccination, or a negative COVID-19 test from within three days of arrival. Hawaii was the last state to end its indoor mask mandate.
The authors also cited a report from The Rand Corporation that showed lockdowns did not reduce mortality.
“The correlation between health and economy scores is essentially zero, which suggests that states that withdrew the most from economic activity did not significantly improve health by doing so,” the authors wrote.
Other factors could have played a bigger part in COVID-19-related deaths, according to the report.
“Pandemic mortality was greater in states where obesity, diabetes, and old age were more prevalent before the pandemic. Economic activity was less in states that had been intensive in, especially, accommodations and food,” the authors wrote. “Still, much residual variation in both mortality and economic activity remains even after controlling for these factors because the 50 states and D.C. (District of Columbia) took very different approaches to confronting the COVID-19 pandemic.”