“We’d have solved Covid, if only the American people weren’t so petulant and childish about petty infringements on freedom for the public good”
It’s the Karen lullaby.
Polls since March have shown that Americans overwhelmingly aren’t in denial: They believe the threat of Covid-19 is real, they are reasonably good at identifying medical misinformation, and they are largely complying with public health recommendations. Compared to their peers in Europe, Americans are more willing to get vaccinated against Covid-19, similarly likely to wear masks, and no more prone to believe common conspiracy theories about the pandemic’s origins.
The U.S.’s response to Covid-19 has been bungled in many respects, but widespread public denial doesn’t explain why.
The obsession with denialism isn’t just inaccurate. It’s corrosive for at least three reasons. First, it needlessly alienates the interested public with false accusations. Second, by conflating reasonable dissent with unreasonable misinformation, it stifles debate, even about issues that genuinely warrant discussion. Third, the myth of denial deflects blame from the policy failures of politicians, who use it to claim they’ve done all they could, leaving only the denialists (and cheesecake eaters) to blame.
Back last summer, when an orgy of Blue Fragiility had Minnesotans claiming that the state’s Covid numbers were driven by unmasked Dakotas residents flagrantly crossing the border, I pointed out, as someone who (unlike pretty much any progressive in the world) had been to a Dakota (four times in 2020 so far) that people there were no less socially-distanced (above and beyond their normal natures, even) and masked up than Minnesotans.
And to about the same effect.