Thursday, July 23, 2020

The partisan divide over COVID-19

Republicans And Democrats See COVID–19 Very Differently. Is That Making People Sick? Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux answers at fivethirtyeight.com.

Americans have changed their behavior in ways that would have been unthinkable even a few months ago. Masks are an essential accessory. Social distancing is the norm. And even as states moved to reopen their economies in May and June, many Americans continued to think it was better for people to stay home.

But underneath that apparent consensus is a large — and growing — partisan divide. Even as cases and hospitalizations spike in red states that mostly escaped the early effects of the virus, Republicans and Democrats remain stubbornly split on the threat it poses. For instance, it was only in July that President Trump wore a mask in public for the first time. And perhaps thanks to Trump’s repeated downplaying of the threat that COVID–19 poses, Republicans are much less concerned than Democrats are about the virus.

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