I've not taken a deep dive into this topic so my opinions are not firmly held. I did come across an interesting item that merits consideration. That's the timing of the outbreaks. Some states were hit by the virus well before many others were. Early on, we knew far less about the virus itself and how best to respond to it. That put the early states at a major disadvantage. They did not have the benefit of experience. They did not have the chance to observe other states for important lessons learned.Some say this is an interesting graph.
California has been a pro lockdown state while Florida hasn’t been. Yet the most vulnerable have been protected( statistically) better in Florida.
So, if we are going to use any metric to support an argument about one state's outcomes being better than another's, it seems wise to make sure we are comparing apples to apples. It seems wise to compare state-by-state results over a snapshot time period, like maybe a month, and not over longer time periods where other variables may be decisive but not included in a two-statistic analysis like the one you show here.