The COVID Debate Is Running On Political Fumes

As long as vaccines continue to work, the politicized debate on COVID will be mostly hot air.

Thanks in large part to the emergence of the Delta variant of COVID, America is finding itself in a new wave. And I don’t really mean a new wave of the pandemic (though cases have been significantly rising due to the increased infectiousness of the new variant) so much as a new wave of America’s favorite national pastime: Arguing about which half of the country is bad.

If you spend any time watching cable news or browsing social media, you might come away with the impression that major, controversial questions loom large over the country in its struggle to manage the pandemic: Why aren’t more people getting vaccinated? Shouldn’t we force them to? Shouldn’t we require vaccine passports? Shouldn’t we bring back mask mandates? Shouldn’t we mask children? Will we need to lock down again?

But while it’s understandable to express concern about a virus that continues to circulate throughout the country, much of the response — particularly in partisan, elite media conversations — makes little sense and is driven largely by the continued failure to grasp two basic realities of the pandemic.

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