Writing in the Washington Post this Monday, Max Boot says that the growing number of people close to Trump who've contracted coronavirus in the wake of his diagnosis should be surprising to no one, considering that the Republican Party's Republican Party’s "rejection of science, its embrace of conspiracy theories and its transformation into a cult of personality" is to blame.
"Many of the president’s followers have been vociferously opposed to lockdowns, face masks and social distancing. Researchers have shown that those who rely on right-wing sources such as Fox 'News' and Rush Limbaugh are much more likely to hold mistaken beliefs about the coronavirus than those who look to the mainstream media for information," Boot writes. "One such study found that a 10 percent increase in Fox News viewership within a Zip code reduced its residents’ propensity to abide by a lockdown by 1.3 percentage points. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll released in September found that 51 percent of Republicans say that 'hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment for COVID-19' and 36 percent say that wearing a mask is harmful to your health."
Boot goes on to say that in light of Trump's repeated downplaying of the virus, it would be nice if his recent positive test "would persuade his followers to take the disease more seriously, but so far there is little evidence of that," adding that instead of blaming Trump for ignoring medical advice, "many of his followers take refuge in bizarre conspiracy theories."
"Trump’s followers — some of whom have suggested that sacrificing the lives of older people is a reasonable price to pay for restarting the economy — continue to view the virus with a curious mixture of fatalism and passivity."
Read the full op-ed over at The Washington Post.