Pandemic Turns Political

In America, this is what it has come to: Health workers in scrubs standing in a crosswalk, blocking carloads of social-distance protesters.

Hundreds of people gathered in Denver and elsewhere over the weekend, protesting the infringement on their rights—and underscoring America’s politically divided response.

Republicans and Democrats in the US have dramatically different perceptions on the risks posed by the virus and stay-at-home orders, Axios notes. Many conservatives live in states with fewer cases, while liberals in big-cities are seeing more death up close.

And yet, as some southern US states angle to lift stay-at-home orders, more than two-thirds of Americans agree that a return to normal life is too risky at this point, according to an Axios-Ipsos poll.

Previous pandemics stirred protests, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientistsrecounts—for example, during a 1894 smallpox outbreak when immigrants were forcibly removed from their homes and put into isolation hospitals.

What’s different here: “Protests against government epidemic policies aren’t entirely rare; a president joining with protestors in his own country, rallying against his own policies, is,” the Scientists say, pointing to Trumps’s tweet to “LIBERATE MICHIGAN."

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