OBJECTIVE: This study compared 2019 values for the National Health Security Preparedness Index (NHSPI) with rates of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) -related mortality as reported by the 50 US states and Puerto Rico during the first six months of the US pandemic (March 1 - August 31 , 2020).
METHODS: Data regarding provisional death counts and estimates of excess deaths for COVID-19 according to state and territory were downloaded from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics website . Reporting included the six-month-long period of March 1 - August 31 , 2020 . Excess mortality rates were calculated as the number of excess deaths per 100,000 persons in each state population using 2019 US Census Bureau data . Mean values for state and territorial NHSPI domain indices were compared to state and territorial rates of COVID-19-related excess mortality using multiple linear regression, including analysis of variance . Correlations between the 51 state and territorial NHSPI values and corresponding COVID-19 excess mortality rates were calculated using Pearson's correlation coefficient .
RESULTS: These calculations revealed a high degree of variance (adjusted r square = 0.02 and 0.25) and poor correlation (P = .16 and .08) among values for the overall NHSPI as compared to low and high estimates of excess COVID-19 mortality rates for 50 US states and Puerto Rico.There was also a high degree of variance (adjusted r square = 0.001 and 0.03) and poor correlation (P values ranging from .09 to .94) for values for the six individual domains of the NHSPI as compared to low and high estimates of excess COVID-19 mortality rates for 50 US states and Puerto Rico .
CONCLUSION: The NHSPI does not appear to be a valid predictor of excess COVID-19 mortality rates for 50 US states and Puerto Rico during the first six months of the pandemic.
Index: coronavirus, health security, mortality, public health preparedness