Political Science

Pandemic Politics: The Deadly Toll of Partisanship in the Age of COVID

How the politicization of the pandemic endangers our lives—and our democracy

ebook

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ISBN:
Published:
Oct 11, 2022
2022
Illus:
80 b/w illus. 12 tables.
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COVID-19 has killed more people than any war or public health crisis in American history, but the scale and grim human toll of the pandemic were not inevitable. Pandemic Politics examines how Donald Trump politicized COVID-19, shedding new light on how his administration tied the pandemic to the president’s political fate in an election year and chose partisanship over public health, with disastrous consequences for all of us.

Health is not an inherently polarizing issue, but the Trump administration’s partisan response to COVID-19 led ordinary citizens to prioritize what was good for their “team” rather than what was good for their country. Democrats, in turn, viewed the crisis as evidence of Trump’s indifference to public well-being. At a time when solidarity and bipartisan unity were sorely needed, Americans came to see the pandemic in partisan terms, adopting behaviors and attitudes that continue to divide us today. This book draws on a wealth of new data on public opinion to show how pandemic politics has touched all aspects of our lives—from the economy to race and immigration—and puts America’s COVID-19 response in global perspective.

An in-depth account of a uniquely American tragedy, Pandemic Politics reveals how the politicization of the COVID-19 pandemic has profound and troubling implications for public health and the future of democracy itself.