Will Canada soon pass the US?

It sure looks that way:

Perhaps Canada has fewer Republicans.



42 Responses to “Will Canada soon pass the US?”

  1. Gravatar of Brian Donohue Brian Donohue
    20. May 2021 at 12:21

    Everything today has to come with a healthy serving of political snark.

    So much so that people forget obvious things about the country they live in. As if Trumpers are the only demographic skeptical of the United States Government (which, let’s be honest, hasn’t covered itself in glory during this pandemic.)

    Once it dawns on people that blacks and hispanics are getting vaccinated at rates well below their representation in the population in pretty much every state, we’ll start softening the messaging toward vaccine skeptics.

  2. Gravatar of msgkings msgkings
    20. May 2021 at 12:32


    Snark or no, it was the Trumpers that caused our country to have one of the worst pandemic responses on Earth. Sometimes they get unfairly criticized, this is not one of those times.

  3. Gravatar of JayT JayT
    20. May 2021 at 12:48

    Keep in mind that Canada is doing first doses first. They have given a first dose to 39.4% of their population but only 3.3% are fully vaccinated. The US is at 48.2%/38.1%. I think Canada’s approach is the right one, but it doesn’t really tell us much about vaccine hesitancy.

    Israel also started stalling out at 50%, which they hit on March 10th. They are at ~60% now. It seems the first 50% is the easy half to get vaccinated.

  4. Gravatar of steve steve
    20. May 2021 at 13:01

    Rates among minorities have been picking up, especially Hispanics. Good data at KFF site. A lot of this is driven by politics. I have been giving vaccinations at the rural hospitals in our network. We have a lot of no shows now. We have given up trying to get people to come in when we have extras. Just toss them.



  5. Gravatar of Brett Brett
    20. May 2021 at 13:27

    That’d be fitting, wouldn’t it? We get a massive head start on vaccination and are the envy of the world in vaccine dose supplies, but end up getting passed anyways in vaccination rates.

    In any case, Republicans have always been somewhat less likely to get vaccinated, but it’s gotten a lot worse and there’s a huge gap between them and Democrats in terms of vaccination.

  6. Gravatar of Todd Kreider Todd Kreider
    20. May 2021 at 14:22

    “it was the Trumpers that caused our country to have one of the worst pandemic responses on Earth. Sometimes they get unfairly criticized, this is not one of those times.”

    Of course not. Trump wasn’t the leader who ordered Covid-19 patients into nursing homes. If New York and New Jersey combined was a country, it would easily have the most Covid-19 deaths per capita in the world.

    1. NY & NJ
    2. Hungary
    3. Czechia

    11. U.K.
    14. U.S.
    17. France

    25. Sweden

  7. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    20. May 2021 at 15:53

    Brian, Why does everyone want to make everything about race? There’s a big difference in the rates that Democrats and Republicans are getting vaccinated. That’s just a fact. You act like I criticized the GOP–I just reported a fact.

  8. Gravatar of BC BC
    20. May 2021 at 23:26

    I think Brian Donohue raises a fair question. Why is that, when rural whites or Republicans are vaccinated at lower rates, the cause is “vaccine hesitancy” but, when certain minority groups are vaccinated at lower rates, the cause is racial “disparities” in the health system?

  9. Gravatar of Brian Donohue Brian Donohue
    21. May 2021 at 03:37

    Scott, you’re just wrong about this. “Get vaccinated asshole” was always an awful strategy but the people pushing it didn’t care because they were less interested in encouraging vaccination than scoring off political opponents.

    Now we’re doing lotteries and other incentives. I wonder why the messaging is softening.

  10. Gravatar of Michael Rulle Michael Rulle
    21. May 2021 at 05:26

    Canada has neither republicans nor democrats. They do have Liberals and Conservatives—-the latter gets slightly more popular votes. US and Canada has about the same percent of people in the 2 major parties ——then they have Québécois and New Democrats. We have Independents instead.

    Your comment is moronic and designed to troll—-so I took the bait—-why not?

  11. Gravatar of gofx gofx
    21. May 2021 at 07:19


    I think the vaccine hesitancy may have started with that well-know vaccine skeptic, Kamala Harris, “But if Donald Trump tells us that we should take it. I’m not taking it.” (10/6/20). Later she indicated she would if Dr. Fauci says its ok. But of course Dr Fauci has been known to change his mind from time to time, sort of like Krugman.

    So we probably have a significant number of anti-Trumpers (Dems and Republicans) that don’t want that “Trump Vaccine”.

    Gotta go know and peel off one of my three masks stuck together because I think the Fauci random mask number generator just alerted to “2”, oh, woops its “0”, oh wait…he’s fully vaxed, but its a “1”…

  12. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    21. May 2021 at 08:50

    BC, I have no idea what you are talking about. Both issues are vaccine hesitancy. No sensible person argues otherwise.

    Brian, I have no idea what your comment has to do with this post. Have I ever criticized people who don’t get vaccinated?

    Michael, I don’t know why all you conservatives think unvaccinated Republicans are dumb. I don’t think that.

    gofx, In general, I discourage high school students from commenting here–you really should be focusing on your homework.

  13. Gravatar of gofx gofx
    21. May 2021 at 12:28

    I don’t know Scott, seems inconsistent since it looks like you let a high school student write the initial post.

  14. Gravatar of Justin Justin
    21. May 2021 at 13:23

    –“Snark or no, it was the Trumpers that caused our country to have one of the worst pandemic responses on Earth. Sometimes they get unfairly criticized, this is not one of those times.”–

    It wasn’t only the Trumpers. America’s public health officials and institutions have immolated their own credibility through incompetence, dishonesty and obvious political bias. Much of the media and many individual Americans on the left didn’t help matters.

    The public health messaging on masks was initially not to wear them. It was emphasized that masking wouldn’t really help, and that you’d put yourself at risk adjusting them, etc. Later on, presumably once PPE supplies became more available, the messaging was changed, and it looked like the public health authorities either lied or didn’t know what they were talking about. Neither one is a great look.

    We were told not to go out for non-essential activities as it could kill grandma, but massive unprincipled exceptions were made for BLM protests/riots, celebrating Joe Biden’s victory, etc.

    Dr. Fauci admitted low balling his estimates of the percentage of people vaccinated required for herd immunity.

    Some of the public health guidance, such as the need to wear masks for the first thirty seconds you were in a restaurant before sitting down and removing your masks for an hour, were always prima facie ridiculous.

    Back in late March, the head of the CDC publicly said she had fears of “impending doom”, which was promptly followed by continued declines in case numbers and deaths.

    And what happened across the country when people said they are against masks or didn’t think the virus was that serious, or said they were concerned about vaccines? They were often mocked, vilified, and insulted.

    Mocking, vilifying and insulting people can be a great way to score political points, but it is anti-persuasion. They will be less likely to accept your arguments, because they are coming from an enemy or an enemy tribe.

    People became so hardened that I couldn’t even get my own friends to accept wearing masks even using the most gentlest and irrefutable of arguments (it’s barely an inconvenience, they probably won’t put you at greater risk and there’s at least some chance they will help slow transmission).

    In light of all this, it’s baffling to me that anyone would expect Republicans to be gung ho mask wearers with high vaccination rates.

  15. Gravatar of Lizard Man Lizard Man
    21. May 2021 at 15:11

    So what?

    Somewhat related question, how do young children play into herd immunity? It seems like it will be a while before they are vaccinated. I know that there has been research that younger children haven’t played a huge role as vectors of the disease, but at the same time any parent can tell you from experience that their kids always seem to get at least one respiratory infection each winter. Given just how miserably the experts have done during the pandemic in the face of incomplete information, I think that sticking with the common sense assumption that kids are vectors for respiratory illnesses seems very reasonable to me. At the same time, if kids continue wearing masks in school, and schools take some simple precautions (ventilation, eating outdoors when possible, having teachers move between classes instead of children, etc.) I could see how school would not contribute significantly to the spread of respiratory infections.

  16. Gravatar of ankh ankh
    21. May 2021 at 18:10

    People are hesitant to take the vaccine for a number of reasons, none of which has to do with party membership.

    When the former VP of Pfizer speaks out; when 12,000 scientists sign the great Barrington declaration; when thousands of vaccine deaths have been registered with the CDC; and when a renowned Dutch epidemiologist says he has concerns about “vaccine shedding” and it’s “grave threat to humanity” then one must consider the costs and benefits.

    Most people who are relatively healthy probably do not need the vaccine.

    And using vaccine passports to create a two tiered society in an attempt to coerce people into getting the vaccine is totalitarian.

    People who think that way are dangerous! Dangerous to our republic.

    If you want to propose a bill that mandates it, then call your congressmen. You will find that your proposal is rejected, overwhelmingly, by millions who want nothing to do with it. Indonesia tried your approach to forced vaccine calls, and the regime was nearly beheaded. If you want to see people’s blood boil; if you want your home burned to the ground; your wife and kids murdered and raped; then keep advocating for forced vaccinations.

    You are playing with fire, and you have NO IDEA how nasty people can get. You think forcing people to put something in their body is a viable solution – well, be prepared to lose your life!

  17. Gravatar of rinat rinat
    21. May 2021 at 18:16

    Ankh is very blunt, but she is correct.
    You cannot force this upon people.
    And you cannot reject scientists concerns as anti-science.
    Not agreeing with a scientist doesn’t make their opinion any less relevant.

  18. Gravatar of dtoh dtoh
    22. May 2021 at 17:00

    I would be very careful about drawing conclusions based on race or political party. It may well be that differences in vaccination rates are due to other factors like urban/rural, income levels, etc.

    Also the entire narrative about Republicans not getting vaccinated is not based on actual vaccinations but on a single poll conducted 3 months ago where respondents were asked whether they planned to get vaccinated. Subsequent data has shown those poll results to be not at all correlated with actual vaccination rates.

    Anybody who claims that there are any data showing a difference in actual vaccination rates based on political party is either wrong or lying.

    And IMHO, if you want increase the vaccination rate, the easiest way to do it is just to pay people to get vaccinated.

  19. Gravatar of Lizard Man Lizard Man
    22. May 2021 at 19:14

    @ DTOH

    See this about Ohio:


    Maybe paying people directly isn’t as effective as gimmicks like the lotto. But one of the advantages of the lotto is that it garners publicity and makes getting the vaccine into more of a social activity, as people can talk about getting their lotto tickets and what they would do with the money if they win.

  20. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    23. May 2021 at 08:01

    dtoh, Yes, I’m fine with paying people, and I have no objection to people choosing not to get vaccinated. On the partisan split, it not just data on intentions:




    “The top 21 states for vaccination rates all went for President Biden in the 2020 presidential election. Iowa — with 47 percent of its population receiving at least one shot — is the highest ranking state on the list, at No. 22, that voted for former President Trump.

    The state with the lowest vaccination rate, Mississippi, at 32 percent, is deeply red, as are the other four states that round out the bottom five: Louisiana, Alabama, Wyoming and Idaho.”

    Yes, that doesn’t prove anything, but it’s highly suggestive.

  21. Gravatar of dtoh dtoh
    23. May 2021 at 12:58

    I seriously can’t believe people produce, publish or give any credence to that kind of analysis.

    You could just as easily claim that the data suggest that States with large rural populations or large African American population have the lowest vaccination rates, which would also be true. Unless you do a multiple regression, you won’t know for sure, but if you eyeball the data, I’ll guarantee the correlation with the rural population or minority population is much tighter than if you run against the percentage of Republican votes in the latest Presidential election

  22. Gravatar of ray ray
    24. May 2021 at 05:43

    Professor Luc Montagnier, a Nobel prize winning virologist, says epidemiologists know that the vaccine is causing the variants. They are too afraid to speak out, because dissenting from the view of the pharmaceutical companies, big tech, and big politics is a death sentence. Their licenses could be revoked, and their tenure terminated.

    Essentially the anti-bodies force the virus to adapt or die. It’s called Antibody-Dependent Enhancement” (ADE). I’ve copy and pasted a link below, which is an open letter submitted by medical professionals. There is evidence that the curve of vaccination is followed by the curve of deaths.

    There is also increasing evidence that it came from the Wuhan Laboratory during gain of function research.


  23. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    25. May 2021 at 15:44

    dtoh, I can do pretty decent multiple regressions in my head, and I am almost certain that your claims are wrong. These days when you talk about “rural people” you are basically talking about Republicans. And Wyoming and Idaho have few African Americans.

    If it was just the county data I might agree that there’s a small chance you are right, but when combined with the overwhelming difference in the polling between the two parties it’s a slam dunk–Republicans are far less likely to get vaccinated–so far. (That may change.)

    Ray, Wrong. Variants mostly come from unvaccinated people.

  24. Gravatar of Anonymous Anonymous
    26. May 2021 at 07:04


    That link has nothing to do with variants. The statements in the link are basically true, but irrelevant. We know the immediate side effects from the millions and millions of people who have already been vaccinated.

  25. Gravatar of Ray Ray
    27. May 2021 at 04:13

    When it comes to medicine, I will take the advice of a Nobel winning laureate in Virology (Luc Montagnier), not a subpar economist.

    Here are more concerns, in regards to vaccine shedding and possible variants.


    In regards to the arrogant comment by anonymous, he may want to improve his reading comprehension skills! He may also want to identify his medical expertise. The link leads to a set of articles, not one article.

    Keep reading!

  26. Gravatar of henry henry
    27. May 2021 at 05:54

    You have to love the arrogance of the left wing radicals (i.e., scott “communist” sumner.

    A Nobel laureate says the virus is man-made, and is attacked by the woke mob. They called him “insane” and “stupid”, as if they won a Nobel Prize.

    One year later, the CDC’s reverses their position, the Biden Administration redoubles efforts to analyze and gather intelligence data, and Facebook stops banning those who discuss it.

    The Wuhan laboratory has a history of leaks, and this was most likely their latest blunder.

    Fast forward a year, and now we have physicians and virologists sounding the alarm. Once again the radicals are in full denial mode, calling these virologists “crazies” and “anti-science” because their position is not “main-stream”.

    Sumner is now, apparently, an expert in medicine.

    He is wrong, wrong, and wrong again.

    What else is new.

  27. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    27. May 2021 at 09:37

    Ray, You said:

    “Essentially the anti-bodies force the virus to adapt or die.”

    That’s why most experts believe vaccination reduces risk of variants. There are fewer opportunities for this sort of mutation to occur.

    And don’t you think it’s kind of weird to make an “appeal to the experts” argument for a crackpot theory that 99% of experts reject? I guess I don’t understand your approach to epistemology. How do we know something is true?

    Henry, Biden called for investigating the lab leak theory back in February 2020, at a time when Trump was lavishing praise on the CCP (on 14 separate occasions.) At the time, I was highly critical of the Chinese government handling of the pandemic.

  28. Gravatar of First Time Caller First Time Caller
    27. May 2021 at 13:42


    I’ve often frequented your blog and your posts over at EconLib. I’ve enjoyed your writing over the years, though I rarely comment on it. I don’t always agree with your opinions, and that’s okay. I like having an intellectually diverse diet.

    Frankly, this post is beneath you. What are your trying to accomplish with it, other than to signal your disdain for republicans? Maybe I’m dense and missing the point.

    There are a fair amount of republicans in my family and circle of friends whose only rationale for refusing to get vaccinated is because people like you say things like this. I think they’re wrong and petty, personally, but if you truly care about encouraging people to get vaccinated, I can assure you a post like this does exactly the opposite.

    And on top of that, you come across as mean-spirited, which I know you’re not. Again, you can do a lot better than a post like this.


    Long Time Listener, First Time Caller

  29. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    27. May 2021 at 14:46

    First time, Actually it was just an offhand joke. I think people misinterpreted the remark.

    But if you want to be serious about the issue, please explain to me why a vaccine developed and approved during the Trump administration, which Trump takes credit for and encourages people to take, is somehow viewed as an anti-GOP position? I honestly don’t get why so many Republicans don’t want to take the vaccine.

    I do get why lots of people don’t like vaccines–that’s always been true. Both Democrats and Republicans. But why is it now a political issue? I really don’t get it.

    In any case, you are not the first to complain, so I presume the joke was more offensive than I intended. I apologize.

    As an aside, not once in this blog have I ever criticized people for not getting vaccinated. Not once.

    You said:

    “There are a fair amount of republicans in my family and circle of friends whose only rationale for refusing to get vaccinated is because people like you say things like this.”

    I’m tempted to respond to this, but I’ll let it pass. If you know my philosophy about life, you can probably anticipate what I would say.

  30. Gravatar of dtoh dtoh
    27. May 2021 at 18:03

    That logic of that argument is stunningly bad.

    Basically you’re saying…vaccinations rates are low in rural areas. A majority of people living in rural areas are Republicans. Ergo…party preference has a causal effect on the likelihood of getting a vaccination.

    Correlation? Yes. Correlated to drives a pick up truck? Yes. Correlated to has a picket fence? Yes. Correlated to raises chickens? Yes.

    Ever heard of rational choice theory? Why not look for correlations that have some hint of plausible causation like… distance to a clinic or pharmacy, or likelihood of infection based on frequency of social interactions.

    I guarantee if you compare same neighborhood, same education and income levels, you won’t find any difference based on party affiliation.

    And then you can explain why rural Michigan and Wisconsin which are strongly Republican have vaccinations rates above the national average and why parts of rural Alabama (which went 70% Biden) have vaccinations rates that are half of the national average.

    You’re a smart guy. I don’t know why you sometimes fall for this garbage unsubstantiated poppycock peddled by the partisan press.

  31. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    28. May 2021 at 08:36

    dtoh, You are completely mischaracterizing my views. I agree that the geographical data alone is not conclusive. But it strongly correlates with other data from a completely unrelated source. It’s the fact that we have data from several unrelated sources, all pointing in the same direction, that makes it so powerful.

    I also don’t see why this is viewed as a partisan issue. Polls show that Republican voters are far less likely to want to get the vaccine. So what? Why is that viewed as a partisan claim? It’s just a statement of fact. People are free to get the vaccine or not, it’s up to them.

    You said:

    “Basically you’re saying…vaccinations rates are low in rural areas. A majority of people living in rural areas are Republicans. Ergo…party preference has a causal effect on the likelihood of getting a vaccination.”

    Reread my post, I never made any claims about causation, only correlation.

  32. Gravatar of TMC TMC
    28. May 2021 at 12:35

    You are likely right Republicans have been vaccinated less, but I think it’s more about the less likelihood of getting covid in less dense areas. I live in a moderately dense city, and there is no difference in the two rates. Oddly, the most reluctance I’ve heard about is from the medical community.

  33. Gravatar of Last Time Listener Last Time Listener
    28. May 2021 at 18:47


    “First time, Actually it was just an offhand joke. I think people misinterpreted the remark.”

    How did you intend for it to be interpreted? How do you think the same chart with the caption “perhaps Canada has fewer black people?” would be interpreted? Post that, and then defend it with “it was just a joke”, and see how that goes over. The same logic should apply here, but I get it, it’s fashionable to bash republicans these days.

    Your writing in general would go a lot farther and be a lot more impactful if you could cut out the snark and condescension. If you’re serious about wanting to increase vaccination rates among republicans, a good start would be to stop making posts like this one. As they say, a gentleman does not needlessly offend.


    Last Time Listener, Last Time Caller

  34. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    28. May 2021 at 21:06

    TMC, You said:

    “You are likely right Republicans have been vaccinated less, but I think it’s more about the less likelihood of getting covid in less dense areas.”

    Is that really true? The Dakotas were hit really hard, for instance. I’d expect a lower vaccination rate in some place like New Jersey, as so many people there have already been infected. And yet New Jersey has a high vaccination rate.

    Yeah, the medical community angle is weird, but quite frankly in 2021 NOTHING surprises me anymore. If you told me that most MDs believe the moon landing was faked I wouldn’t be surprised. Nothing surprises me anymore. The whole world has gone crazy.

    Last Time, Are you really saying that it’s mean to make a joke about a political party? Has political correctness reached that point? It must be sad going through life with no sense of humor.

    On a more serious note, people really need to leave the Republican party, which has become a complete disgrace. It’s time to have the GOP go the way of the Whigs, and start a replacement party.

  35. Gravatar of dtoh dtoh
    29. May 2021 at 01:53

    Come on. That’s completely disingenuous. We all know the liberal narrative is “Republicans don’t want to get vaccinations for political reasons,” an assertion for which there is zero evidence and while you might believe you are only pointing out a meaningless correlation, no reasonable reader would think you’re doing anything but echoing liberal talking points. After all, what is the possible point of posting about a correlation for which there is no causative element.

    The only thing partisan about the discussion is the liberal media’s totally unsupported suggestions that people are deciding whether or not to get vaccinated for political reasons.

    And BTW, the other sources is not sources. There are not several other sources. It’s a single source (one poll on intentions.) It suffers from the same fallacious inferences (hello has anyone in the media every heard of Bayes Law) as the analysis of actual vaccinations rates, and what’s more, it’s been clearly shown that the poll was total garbage (i.e. for the population segments for which actual vaccination data exist, relative vaccination rates were totally different than what people told the pollsters.)

  36. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    29. May 2021 at 07:56

    dtoh, Not only is that not the only plausible theory, I find that to be an absurd theory. Nobody is going to risk dying to own the libs. Far more likely that (some) GOPers are consumers of conspiracy theories at QAnon, and really believe the vaccine is bad. One conservative school banned people who had been vaccinated—was that to own the libs?

  37. Gravatar of Dtoh Dtoh
    29. May 2021 at 12:29

    Scott, you lost me. What theory?

  38. Gravatar of TMC TMC
    29. May 2021 at 13:31

    The Dakotas, if I remember right, got hit in the dense housing all the temporary oil workers were staying. As for NJ, there has been strong pushback about what immunity having has COVID confers. Official message, until lately, has been that it does not.

  39. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    30. May 2021 at 08:55

    dhoh, You said:

    “Republicans don’t want to get vaccinations for political reasons,” an assertion for which there is zero evidence and while you might believe you are only pointing out a meaningless correlation, no reasonable reader would think you’re doing anything but echoing liberal talking points.”

    Do you really think I’m so stupid that I would espouse such a crazy theory? That would be about as loony as saying blacks and Hispanics are less likely to get the vaccine for skin color reasons. Obviously (if true) it is some mixture of lack of faith in vaccines, and/or perhaps confidence that they won’t be affected by covid. It’s not “I won’t get the vaccine because I want to annoy liberals.”

    And yes, we are talking about statistically tendencies; there are 10s of millions of exceptions in both parties. I know lots of Republicans who have been vaccinated.

    TMC, You said:

    “The Dakotas, if I remember right, got hit in the dense housing all the temporary oil workers were staying”

    Nice try, but South Dakota was hit just as hard, and the oil workers are in North Dakota.

    I think the message on immunity is that people who get covid very rarely get it again, but they don’t have 100% immunity. Of course we know little about the long run immunity issue, it’s likely that immunity gradually wears off.

  40. Gravatar of TMC TMC
    30. May 2021 at 10:00

    Yes, South Dakota got hit worse than North did, which was only 10% worse than US average. You are correct. I was, and indicated, going by memory, conflating the two. I still think my ‘rural’ theory still largely holds up though.

  41. Gravatar of Dtoh Dtoh
    30. May 2021 at 13:35

    So your theory is that Blacks and Republicans don’t get vaccinated in part because they’re stupid (i.e. don’t have faith in the vaccine?)

  42. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    31. May 2021 at 10:35

    dtoh, No, I think they are less likely because they don’t think it’s a good idea. Unlike some people, I don’t assume that those who disagree with me on an issue are stupid.

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