For many of us, the coronavirus calamity is a humbling reminder of all we don’t know and can’t control. But for the ax-grinders, hobby-horse riders and zealous partisans among us, it’s just another opportunity to advance pet causes.
So from certain right-wing politicians and propagandists, we get the lunatic theory that the pandemic is a Democratic or “Deep State” ploy to bring down Donald Trump — even as it’s killed tens of thousands of people in other countries. This may be the starkest example of how viewing everything through the grimy lens of tribal politics addles minds.
Over on the left, Bernie Sanders partisans are also hitching a ride on the COVID-19 express to keep his idea, if not his campaign, alive. They contend that the virus has laid bare the inadequacies of America’s “corporate-run” health system and vindicated Sanders’ “Medicare for All.”
This ignores the inconvenient fact that two of the countries hardest hit, Italy and Spain, have just the kind of single-payer system Sanders advocates. The virus, indifferent to sectarian arguments over the one best way to deliver medical services, overwhelms every kind of health-care system.
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