New study alleges New Mexico’s COVID response gets an ‘F’

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The authors of a new study gave New Mexico an F for its COVID-19 response. They said New Mexico’s response was the 48th worst out of all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

The study is a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research. A working paper has not been peer-reviewed.

The study was written by:

  • Phil Kerpen, an economist with the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, a group devoted to promoting the supply-side economics touted by Ronald Reagan
  • Casey Mulligan, an economics professor at the University of Chicago who also headed up the White House Council of Economic Advisers for a couple years during the Trump administration
  • Stephen Moore with the right-wing think tank The Heritage Foundation

The authors based their study on three factors – the economy, education and mortality.

For the economy, they looked at each state’s unemployment rate between April 2020 and December 2021, and each state’s GDP.

For education, they looked at the percentage of in-person education for the 2020-2021 school year, based on information from the event-aggregating website Burbio.

For mortality, they looked at COVID deaths based on information from, a website that claims to use data from the CDC, but it also doesn’t guarantee its accuracy.

Based on that, the study found states that performed better generally were smaller and had less restrictive COVID-19 policies. Utah was the top-ranked state, with high scores in all three categories – fourth in economy, fifth in education and eighth for mortality.

New Jersey came in last – scoring 50th in economy, 41st in education and 42nd in mortality.

New Mexico landed in the bottom five – scoring 29th in economy, 45th in education and 50th in mortality.

KOB 4 reached out to the governor’s office for its response to this study. They disputed that data in a statement that read, in part:

"The facts are that in the last year, New Mexico was 11th best for job growth in the country overall. In February, the federal government announced that New Mexico ranked 5th nationally in employment growth compared to the last year, creating 50,000 additional jobs in the last year."

To see the working paper in full, click here.