From the beginning through today, Donald Trump and his Republican supporters have denied the seriousness of the covid-19 pandemic and discouraged their followers from taking precautions. Even now, a year and a half after the onset of the pandemic, Republicans are politicizing getting vaccinated and wearing masks—good Republicans don’t do either.
The consequences speak for themselves: Americans who relied most on former President Donald Trump and the White House coronavirus task force for covid-19 news in the early days of the pandemic are now among those least likely to have been vaccinated against the virus, according to a Pew Research Center survey. As a result, far more Republicans than Democrats are dying and have died from the disease.
Trump’s declarations early in the pandemic are characteristic. On January 22, 2020, he said, “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. It’s going to be just fine.” February 2, 2020: “We pretty much shut it down coming in from China.” Then, on March 7, he said “No, I’m not concerned at all.”
The death statistics confirm Trump’s guilt. In counties where Donald Trump received at least 70 percent of the vote in the 2020 election, the virus has killed about 47 out of every 100,000 people since the end of June, according to Charles Gaba, a health care analyst. In counties where Trump won less than 32 percent of the vote, the number is about 10 out of 100,000.
So among the grievous sins for which Trump will be remembered, his expansion of the pandemic death toll will stand above the others. History will condemn him.