WATCH LIVE: Covid Shows Polarized U.S. Politics Kills, Delays Pandemic Exit | Top News

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    (Apr. 20) Thirteen months and two presidents into a once-in-a-century public-health crisis, toxic politics still bedevil effective policies against Covid-19 — an indication of the challenges the U.S. will face in any future pandemic.

    Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat targeted in a kidnapping plot due to her early lockdown, has lost the will to impose new restrictions even as the virus surges there. In California, Republicans are pushing to recall Governor Gavin Newsom for his strict response. And Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who still eschews a mask mandate, is claiming vindication because his state’s death toll was lower than many Democratic bastions — making him an early favorite for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.

    But as politicians jockey over whose states performed best, a key takeaway seems to be that the entire country fared worse than it should have.

    Polarization, coupled with porous state borders, rendered the pandemic playbook less effective. Democratic states took more dramatic mitigation measures than Republican ones. In less homogeneous places, adherence to health advice was mixed, regardless of which party occupied the governor’s mansion.

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    In This Story: COVID-19

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