I want to start this post out by stating that I am not an epidemiologist and cannot speak intelligently about the actual virus itself. It also bothers me to see so many people in the media and on social media who are armchair infectious disease experts. This post is focusing on the political impact of Covid-19 and polling that shows a partisan divide over the disease.
In an article on “The Hill” it appears that people feel very differently about the global pandemic based on their political party. The poll shows that twice as many Republicans (62%) as Democrats (31%) believe the virus to be exaggerated. This is a pretty substantial divide between where people stand on the virus.
Many people are saying that this will do damage to the re-election campaign of Donald Trump. Ironically, I think that blaming Donald Trump for Covid-19 is much like blaming Barack Obama for Ebola (which many Republicans wrongfully attempted to do in 2014). It will be interesting if this continues to be a campaign issue moving forward but the partisan divide is clear.
With many political events being cancelled by Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden over the coming weeks, this is having an impact on the Democratic Primary. These cancellations appear to hurt Sanders more than Biden, mainly because Sanders relies more on grassroots enthusiasm for his victories. Sanders has been struggling lately and this could virtually end his chances of gaining any momentum.
Hopefully the virus is contained in the very near future and people stop the level of panic that currently exists. We will continue to monitor the virus from a political impact in the coming weeks.