HomeHealthCOVID politics are returning to the national stage

COVID politics are returning to the national stage

The recent spike in coronavirus cases has revived some of the fierce debates that animated national – and local – politics during the first two and a half years of the pandemic.

Even though hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 are happening at far lower rates than during the Delta and Omicron waves, the spike is big enough to put the coronavirus back in the news — inevitably triggering a whole new round of savagery has meant. debates about masks, vaccines and lockdowns.

These debates suggest that bitter feelings remain across the political spectrum, even when the pandemic is technically “over.” On the left, many believe restrictions such as mask mandates were repealed too soon. For the right, schools remained closed for too long and other restrictions proved ineffective.

While a few schools have temporarily closed for in-person learning, and some institutions have asked people to wear masks again, it makes little sense that elected or public health officials will bring back significant restrictions.

That has hardly stopped politicians from brandishing some of their favorite pandemic-related arguments and attacks.

Read more on Yahoo News: The new COVID variant ‘Pirola’ is causing a rise in cases in the US and Canadathrough the Independent

COVID is back in the White House

President Biden holds up a face mask as he speaks at the White House.

President Biden holds up a face mask as he speaks at the White House on September 6. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

Earlier this month, the White House announced that first lady Jill Biden tested positive for COVID-19. President Biden, who spent the weekend with her in Delaware, tested negative — and continued to do so.

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Biden also showed off the masking rules the White House said he would adhere to. At a midweek event at the White House, he made a point of wearing a mask without actually wearing it. “They keep telling me to keep wearing it because this has to last ten days or something. But don’t tell them I wasn’t wearing it when I walked in,” the president joked.

From the start, his administration exuded competence and expertise when it came to the pandemic. But the president himself is well aware that many Americans are over the pandemic. He also knows his conservative opponents want to portray him as in favor of the most burdensome public health measures: “Be Prepared: Biden Sets the Way for Another Round of COVID-19 Lockdowns,” read a recent misleading Washington Examiner headline.

Last week the publication of The Last Politician: Inside Joe Biden’s White House and the Battle for America’s Future by the Atlantic writer Franklin Foer. Foer describes Biden as siding with cautious teachers unions when it comes to reopening schools, which many say should have happened much sooner.

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Read more on Yahoo News: Inside the Biden White House: 5 lessons from Franklin Foer’s new book, ‘The Last Politician’

Trump, DeSantis again 2020

Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump sit at a table in front of microphones in front of flags and read on signs: We are in this together, President Donald J. TrumpRon DeSantis and Donald Trump sit at a table in front of microphones in front of flags and read on signs: We are in this together, President Donald J. Trump

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis during a COVID-related event with then-President Donald Trump in Belleair, Florida, in July 2020. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)

Gov. Ron DeSantis first came to notice during his hands-off approach to the coronavirus. Skeptical of lockdowns, he pushed for schools to reopen in the fall of 2020, at a time when many Democratic governors have refused to take the same step. He later took sharper stances on masks and vaccines, which further endeared him to conservatives. His handling of the pandemic carried him to a landslide in last year’s midterm elections.

Trump’s handling of the pandemic has been less hands-off than erratic, best symbolized by his infamous advice to inject bleach (which people shouldn’t do for any reason). He first urged caution and then embraced controversial scientists who advocated a “let it rip” approach. Some believe his response to the pandemic cost him the 2020 election.

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DeSantis has used the recent mini-surge to revive the pandemic-era positions that made him prominent in the first place. A recent fundraising message stated that “WE WILL NOT COMPLY” with the new coronavirus restrictions, which have only been implemented in a few jurisdictions across the country. The faltering DeSantis campaign is also selling lawn signs that read “This is a mask-free home.”

The rollout of a new coronavirus booster this week has also given DeSantis a chance to remind voters of his opposition to vaccines.

Trump, for his part, has attacked DeSantis by misrepresenting his views. “Lockdown Ron should look in the mirror and ask himself why he is trying to mislead voters,” a Trump campaign spokesman told the New York Times.

Read more on Yahoo News: Why Ron DeSantis Can’t Stop Talking About COVID

Will voters be influenced?

Ron DeSantis stands at a podium that reads: Seniors First, text FLCovid19 to 888777.Ron DeSantis stands at a podium that reads: Seniors First, text FLCovid19 to 888777.

DeSantis at a coronavirus vaccination site in Bradenton, Florida, in February 2021. (Chris O’Meara/AP)

Probably not.

The current wave is likely to subside in the coming weeks.

The future will inevitably bring new waves, but if the Omicron subvariants continue on their current evolutionary path, they are for the most part unlikely to cause serious illness or death.

With each wave, new political disagreements can arise, especially as the presidential elections approach. But it’s not clear that these disagreements can hold public attention for long: According to a recent poll from Yahoo News and YouGov, only 7% of Americans are “very concerned” about COVID-19.

Read more about Yahoo Finance: The US approval of fall boosters comes amid a rise in COVID-19 cases

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