Novel Coronavirus, Old Partisanship: COVID-19 Attitudes and Behaviours in the United States and Canada Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • The novel coronavirus reached the United States and Canada almost at the same time. The first reported American case was January 20, 2020, and in Canada it was January 15, 2020 (Canada, 2020; Holshue et al., 2020). Yet, the response to this crisis has been different in the two countries. In the US, President Donald Trump, prominent Republicans, and conservative media initially dismissed the dangers of COVID-19 (Stecula, 2020). The pandemic became politicized from the early days, and even though Trump and Republicans have walked back many of their initial claims, there continue to be media reports of partisan differences in public opinion shaped by that early response. At the same time, the response in Canada has been mostly characterized by across-the-board partisan consensus among political elites (Merkley et al., 2020).

publication date

  • June 2020