Coronavirus Views Split Along Party Lines
Ø According to a Reuters poll, Democrats are twice as likely to report the coronavirus as an imminent threat than republicans.
Ø 4 in 10 democrats polled said this, compared to 2 in 10 republicans.
Ø More democrats are also reporting that they are taking extra safety precautions, changing travel plans, and altering daily routines.
Ø Republicans polled said they viewed the virus as remote since no one in their town or neighbourhood was sick or worried; one said it was not “threat[ening] enough yet in [their] world”.
Ø Many Republicans polled said politics was not a factor in their view of the virus.
Ø The question now is, why is a virus being split along party lines.
Ø Professor of Philosophy Robert Talisse says the issue is people are increasingly surrounded by people that reflect their own opinions, not just TV and social media, but friends and neighbours too. We don’t notice it because our partisan-selves feel like our normal-selves.
Ø There have been two dominant presentations of the virus.
Ø Donald Trump has presented a very optimistic view of the virus.
Ø The World Health Organization says the virus has a fatality rate of 3.4 percent; Trump said on Fox News that he doubts this number, and thinks its closer to .5 percent
Ø He accused his political opponents and left wing media as trying to use the virus to derail his re-election campaign.
Ø Rush Limbaugh said on air that the “coronavirus is the common cold” and repeated that the virus is being used to hurt Trumps campaign.
Ø Pelosi accused Trump of spreading disinformation, and stated that the truth is in the public domain.
Ø Over 3400 people have died from the virus, and it has spread to 90 nations, according to the CDC.
Ø Public health authorities have been warning about potential school closures and quarantines.
Ø It is hard to measure the exact effect of political polarization.
Ø Georgia State Professor Jennifer McCoy worries that the American people have lost the ability to asses a health crisis, and therefore address it properly.
Coronavirus is a Threat
There are practical explanations as to why the Coronavirus epidemic is being viewed differently by the two different political parties in the United States. Two out of ten Republicans view it as a serious threat as opposed to twice that number, with four in ten Democrats worried about the virus and indicate a shift in their routines to help avoid the contagion.
Republicans, at least in the Trump era, tend to be skeptical of mainstream news. Therefore it is possible they see the media reports as largely inflated and exaggerated. There is speculation the Coronavirus outbreak is a liberal ploy to derail the President’s reelection bid. With the world and the nation now focused on this existential health threat, and the idea that it can expose inefficiencies in the administration’s response has given rise to conspiracy theories that it is a deliberate attempt to sabotage the election. This is a baseless accusation, and ignores the countless examples of the disease and the growing body count.
Democrats tend to be less skeptical of the media and the scientific community, and therefore concerns about COVID-19, just as concerns about climate change, and anti-vaccine movement, etc. are valid.
In any case, there is little doubt that COVID-19 is dangerous, especially to the elderly, and it is spreading. There needs to be sensible measures meant to limit the spread, and the political bickering needs to halt so we can present a united front to find a cure and eradicate this strain to bring relief to all the afflicted.
The media is hoping for Trump’s "Katrina moment"
Coronavirus. We’ve all heard about it, talked about it, read articles about it. But is it as bad as the corporate media is saying it is? And how is the Trump Administration handling the crisis?
First off, let’s look at the facts. According to the World Health Organization, 3.4% of people who contract the coronavirus die from the disease. This number is most likely much higher than the actual death rate given that a large majority of those who get the disease only receive a very mild strain. Therefore, they don’t report it and nobody—maybe not even themselves—know they had it. When President Trump said he thought that WHO’s estimate was a “false number” he wasn’t just going off the cuff.
Breaking down the death rate even farther, we see that a majority of deaths happen in elderly people with pre-existing medical conditions. Young adults, teens, and children seem to be very good at combatting the disease.
Even so, the media has used the coronavirus as a way to once again bash President Trump and his administration. A Boston Globe headline read “Donald Trump’s Coronavirus Advice Just Might Kill Us.” Just might kill us? How can washing your hands, being careful where you travel, staying home from work if you feel sick kill us? One New York Times journalist went so far as to call the virus the “Trumpvirus.”
At its core, the media is hoping this will be Trump’s “Katrina moment.” The problem with that is that the Administration is actually handling the crisis well. The government has limited or outright banned travel to coronavirus hotspots like China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea to stem the flow of more diseased people into the country. By the end of next week, millions of COVID-19 test kits will have been sent out around the country. And the CDC is on a fast track towards rolling out a vaccine. The media needs to be honest and stop gaslighting the American public into a panic.
Remember, we have the best healthcare in the world. Everything will be all right.