Vaccines were becoming partisan before Covid-19
The history of a polarized issue
Today, overall partisanship and views on Covid-19 vaccines are strongly aligned. Democratic Party elected officials may possess a range of opinions about the merits of vaccine mandates, but sentiment generally favors some mandates, and enthusiasm for voluntary vaccination is practically universal.
But even a relatively pro-vaccination GOP figure like Mitch McConnell opposes mandates, and Republican views have only been growing more hostile. Earlier in the vaccine rollout, a number of GOP figures were fairly supportive of ideas like cash bonuses or lotteries for the vaccinated, an acknowledgment of the positive externalities associated with the shot. But these days even supportive politicians eschew any kind of pro-vaccination policy. Ron DeSantis once tried to position himself as pro-vaccine but now won’t tell anyone whether or not he got a booster shot — presumably embarrassed to admit to the base that he’s not a crazy person.
This development has been moderately surprising to many o…
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