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Why has COVID and the response to COVID become so political?

The political incentives today push politicians to make every national issue a wedge that further pushes American citizens to one camp or another, Brent Nelsen, professor of politics and international affairs at Furman University, writes in an opinion piece for the SC Why website. These incentives are boosted by powerful cultural forces that act like political steroids.

The nation’s COVID response is now caught up in our toxic polarized politics. Vaccines and masks are not seen as apolitical solutions to an apolitical, technical problem that needs to be solved by experts and technocrats. No, scientific evidence is now seen through partisan lenses allowing both sides to claim scientific backing for their political preferences.

Last updated September 9, 2021
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Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director