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Gadarian Speaks with WBUR About the Politicization of COVID-19 and Its Impact on Democracy

May 26, 2023


Shana Kushner Gadarian

Shana Kushner Gadarian

The federal COVID-19 public health emergency came to an end on May 11, 2023. But as we look back at the three-plus years of the pandemic, did we miss the opportunity to best protect our country? Shana Gadarian, Merle Goldberg Fabian Professor of Excellence in Citizenship and Critical Thinking, discusses on WBUR's "On Point" for the segment, “How the politicization of COVID endangered our lives and democracy."

“It turns out that partisanship just swamped everything else as early as March of 2020," says Gadarian.

“There's variation across people's own individual partisanship in whether or not they say they're doing things like washing their hands. So Democrats are always more likely to say that they're doing these protective health behaviors than Republicans. Even though there's a majority of both groups, and independents always kind of fall in the middle," she says.

“But there's this gap between Democrats and Republicans that we see as early as March of 2020 that isn't accounted for, by things like where people live or how many COVID cases are in their area. It really is about their identity with the party," Gadarian says.

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