The coronavirus is a fearsome, vicious foe. But that’s not been enough to unite America. At least not yet.
The United States has become so politically polarized that even Americans’ view of the pandemic is split along party lines, polls show. For President Trump, that means he hasn’t enjoyed any rally-round-the-flag surge of support, as presidents sometimes do during national calamities. But neither has he seen his support drop, despite extensive criticism of his administration’s response to the crisis.
Polls released over the last week have found that Democrats were much more likely than Republicans to see the coronavirus as a threat to the country’s health, to fear for their family’s well-being, to see major life changes ahead, and to think that the worst is yet to come. They were even more likely to look online for hand sanitizer.
Republicans were more sanguine, more likely to think that the news media are exaggerating the risks. And they have been twice as likely as Democrats to believe a theory that scientists say is false — that the coronavirus was created in China as a bio-weapon. China responded with its own unfounded theory, suggesting that visiting U.S. Army troops brought the disease to Wuhan, the epicenter of the pandemic.
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