Donald Trump wants to pretend the coronavirus is in the rearview mirror, but reports over the weekend suggested that instead the U.S. is witnessing a resurgence of the virus after weeks of decline. Twenty-one states have seen an increase of new cases in recent days. Most of the spikes are in Republican-controlled states like Texas, Florida, Georgia and Arizona, where governors curried favor with Trump by lifting restrictions long before meeting even some of the criteria recommended by public health officials. On Sunday, the death toll from the virus, now at 118,000, surpassed the number of American lives lost in World War I.
In response to this surge, Americans living in our polarized political culture are pointing the finger at each other. Conservatives are opportunistically blaming the anti-racism protests spreading across both big urban areas and small towns. Liberals, on the other hand, are casting a gimlet eye on Americans who have crowded into outdoor spaces at bars and restaurants in states that have allowed those establishments to reopen.
Such liberals didn’t limit their judgment to folks who are doing their public drinking and socializing in red states that reopened too soon and have seen their coronavirus cases soaring. A lot of the scolding was aimed at people in states like New York and Pennsylvania, which have been cautiously reopening after steep declines in transmission rates. This one video of young people on St. Mark’s Place in Manhattan’s East Village on Friday night drew a great deal of ire over the weekend.
Friday night (6/12), St. Mark’s Place pic.twitter.com/hujW2ZFFrY
— evgrieve (@evgrieve) June 13, 2020