It doesn’t matter if COVID-19 cases are relatively lower in these smaller, less wealthy states. Governments cannot place a price tag on human life. While fatality rates may be lower in these regions, the virus is still prevalent enough as to where people are dying at unnatural rates.
The governor of New York has supported this stance, stating that "If it’s public health versus the economy, the only choice is public health. You cannot put a value on human life. You do the right thing.” It doesn’t matter that certain states may see a larger toll on their economies if human life is saved in the process.
Those arguing that they are in regions with low cases and struggling economies should realize that the goal is to keep these cases low. If government assets aren’t spent on public health resources and management, and instead spent on reviving the economy, these states will start to see an uptick in cases. The cost will be human lives, which are more important than any economy.