Monday, August 24, 2020

Most Republicans regard COVID-19 deaths as 'acceptable'

You may recall that I have blogged about the attitudes of Americans regarding gun ownership and the killing of kids. Specifically, I have commented on the acceptability of trading off some number kids’ deaths against gun rights. I have gone so far as to suggest that this tradeoff reflects a semi-official American policy.

Now we can extend such policy-making to the acceptability of COVID–19 deaths. Charlie Sykes ( reports on a new poll. The poll answers the questions of how many deaths are “acceptable” and to whom?

This weekend was the calm between the quasi-virtual conventions, but we start the week with wildfires, audiotapes, bickering over the Rose Garden, a fight over the Postal Service and a politicized FDA, and more than 177,000 coronavirus deaths. So far this month, the United States has been averaging more than 1,000 deaths and 50,000 new infections a day. A widely used model now predicts that the country will have 252,000 deaths by Election Day and nearly 310,000 by December 1.

Over the weekend a new poll found that 57 percent of Republicans said that the number of pandemic deaths was “acceptable.”

The USAtoday poll found that:

More than 176,000 people in the U.S. have died from COVID–19. According to the poll, a 57% majority of registered Republican voters consider that number “acceptable” when “evaluating the U.S. efforts against the coronavirus pandemic,” compared with 31% of voters overall. Ninety percent of Democrats and 67% of independents said the death toll was “unacceptable.”

Republicans were also more likely to believe the official death toll is inflated – though public health officials like Dr. Anthony Fauci have said the actual number of deaths from the virus is likely higher. Forty percent of registered Republicans believe the number of deaths is lower than reported, while 18% said it was probably about right and another 18% said the actual number of deaths was likely higher than reported. Overall, 44% of voters said the number of deaths was actually higher, 36% said it was lower and 20% said the reported number is likely correct.

When asked their opinion of how President Donald Trump has managed the response to the pandemic, 42% of overall voters said Trump has done a good job. Among Republicans, the number saying the president has done a good job jumped to 86%, while 92% of Democrats said he has performed badly. Forty-four percent of independents said the president has done a good job with the outbreak and 56% said he hasn’t.

When asked about the survey Sunday on CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” and why there was such a discrepancy between how Republicans other voters view the pandemic, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said it was “a really unfair poll.”

Unfair. What’s unfair is the casual attitude toward deaths of American citizens by GOPlins.

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