227 votes
Accepted

Why is Trump dubbing COVID-19 as the "Chinese virus" considered offensive, while many past epidemics have had similar naming schemes?

Let's appreciate the learning curve. The problem with all of those historical names is that they created sharp spikes in prejudice, social ostracism, and violence against the indicated groups, and ...
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134 votes
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Why is COVID-19 prompting such wide scale action versus other infectious diseases?

The short answer to this question is that 2019-nCoV is new. All the other diseases you mentioned are known quantities: epidemiologists have a good idea how they behave, how they spread, what is likely ...
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121 votes
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Why are masks a political topic in the US?

David Easton (a major figure in modern political science) defined governance as the 'authoritative allocation of values', meaning that a government decides what values the community it serves will ...
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120 votes
Accepted

Why are Democrats blocking COVID-19 pandemic relief bills with the objection that it's not enough instead of passing it and then passing another?

What makes you think they could simply "pass another one later"? They've already tried that and failed. They wanted a 4th piece of relief legislation back when both chambers quickly passed ...
119 votes

What benefit does the USA gain when it withdraws from WHO?

What the US would gain is unclear, besides saving some contribution money. What Trump gains is turning the narrative away from criticism of his leadership with regards to the Covid crisis and ...
103 votes

During the COVID-19 pandemic, why is it claimed that the US President is making a trade-off of human lives for the economy?

I can't speak for Rebecca's judgement in interpreting those words of Trump, but for instance a NYT article says: “Our people want to return to work,” Mr. Trump declared Tuesday on Twitter, adding, “...
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103 votes
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Why did Trump's "rally 'round the flag" effect evaporate so quickly?

First, the "Rally 'round the Flag" effect is misnamed. These aren't really moments of patriotism. These are moments in which people wake up and realize they are facing a collective threat, something ...
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98 votes
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What are the objections to Mitch McConnell's COVID-19 Bill?

Democrats have been trying to make the case that the stimulus package contains within it a corporate "slush fund" controlled by the Treasury Department and headed by Steve Mnuchin, and Democrats ...
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92 votes

Why are Democrats fighting so hard to vaccinate the reluctant?

Herd immunity* is one aspect. Limiting mutations is another. The Covid virus has shown so far a disturbing, and not totally expected, capacity to quickly evolve itself into more infectious variants (...
83 votes
Accepted

What happened to the vaccine panels that were planned by Democratic leaders back in 2020?

Both panels endorsed the COVID-19 vaccines after conducting a review. Your quote from Inslee describes what became the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup. This news article reports ...
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82 votes
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Is there an explanation for why ~20% of Americans think the US's response to COVID-19 has been better than South Korea's?

The key assumption you have made is assuming people in the US act sensibly, and that they would base their answer in the poll on facts. This assumption might not be accurate. A recent (Jan 2019) study ...
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81 votes

Why is Trump dubbing COVID-19 as the "Chinese virus" considered offensive, while many past epidemics have had similar naming schemes?

If you want official criticism from the WHO of what Trump did/said: [Question:] Dr Tedros mentioned the importance of international unity on this and I just wondered whether anyone there at WHO ...
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79 votes
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Prior to COVID-19, had any country fiscally targeted unvaccinated individuals?

Yes, in Jacobson v. Massachusetts (1905) the United States Supreme Court upheld the right of the state to fiscally target unvaccinated individuals. Massachusetts had enacted the following law in ...
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78 votes

Why is there so much reluctance to make the COVID vaccine mandatory for adults?

Forced medical treatment is a very sensitive topic and is widely considered a grave violation of medical ethics, and is only applied in extreme cases of mental illness, etc. See https://en.wikipedia....
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77 votes

What are the objections to Mitch McConnell's COVID-19 Bill?

For two thoughtful critiques, see e.g. Stop the coronavirus corporate coup by Matt Stoller, or, from around when the bill had just emerged, this interview of AOC and Stephany Kelton. To raise but one ...
69 votes

Why is the lab leak theory such a big deal?

The question about why would random, unidentified people make the difference seems to be off-topic here. AFAICT, civil defense protocols make no difference depending on the origin of bio hazard. ...
67 votes
Accepted

What is the rationale behind delaying the imposition of more radical Covid-19 countermeasures?

Specifically with reference to the UK, an article in the Guardian reports that Experts have warned about the risk that if tough measures are taken too soon, “fatigue” may set in, prompting the ...
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66 votes

Why is COVID-19 prompting such wide scale action versus other infectious diseases?

Respectfully, I think complacency is misplaced. Malaria is locale-specific, and doesn't really affect rich first world countries. While it certainly could receive better funding, it is also easy to ...
66 votes
Accepted

Why do Western countries seem to be less efficient than Asian countries in fighting against COVID-19?

Part of it is going to be that the region (HK, Singapore, SK?, China) was hit much harder during the 2003 SARS epidemic so spent more time getting prepared. Also, it has long been the expectation ...
65 votes

What is the reasoning behind nighttime restrictions during pandemic?

The spread of the pandemic can be reduced by reducing contacts between infected and uninfected people. Since many infected are unaware of their infection, the goal is to reduce contacts between people ...
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64 votes

What reasons are offered by those who both endorsed social distancing and then endorsed the BLM mass protests?

The key difference is that as our understanding of COVID-19 has improved, two facts have become clear about its infectivity which reduce the danger of spread during large outdoor protests like the ...
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58 votes

Why are masks a political topic in the US?

Why are masks political? Because the handling of the pandemic has become a political issue. The President took a clear position. In a bipartisan, hyperpartisan climate, loyalists of the President must ...
  • 87.4k
54 votes

Has any country's government concluded they need more decentralization to fight Covid-19 or future pandemics?

Arguably, the United States of America has. Sort of. It's confusing. The federal government, or rather the president and some of his cabinet, has largely left the response up to individual states. It'...
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54 votes

What reasons are offered by those who both endorsed social distancing and then endorsed the BLM mass protests?

I don't know of any politician or institutions that has made an explicit justification, and I'm not certain any have seen a need to. One would only need to offer an explicit justification if one were ...
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53 votes
Accepted

Why has Russia declined OPEC's request to cut oil production?

Disclaimer: I'm no expert, this answer is based on my modest understanding of the situation at play. The OPEC decision to cut oil production was meant to keep prices high: if every OPEC country were ...
  • 15k
53 votes

Why are Democrats fighting so hard to vaccinate the reluctant?

Let's separate out two distinct issues... First, the Biden administration is following epidemiological best practices. As more people get vaccinated, the disease spreads more slowly, the incidences of ...
  • 55.6k
52 votes
Accepted

How much of the US media referred to the COVID-19 as the "Wuhan Virus" until it received an official designation from the WHO?

Max Rissuto from DFRLab has analysed this in an article published on March 17th which tests the media bias claims made by Republican politicians including GOP House Leader Kevin McCarthy, who tweeted ...
  • 84.8k
51 votes

What benefit does the USA gain when it withdraws from WHO?

Leaving the WHO would release the US from the legal obligations of its membership; chiefly those set out by the International Health Regulations of 2005. These are fairly wide ranging and pithy, far ...
  • 84.8k
50 votes

Why are Democrats blocking COVID-19 pandemic relief bills with the objection that it's not enough instead of passing it and then passing another?

It's really pretty simple: leverage. Democrats want things in the next relief bill that Republicans don't. If the Democrats don't block a smaller bill that only does what Republicans want, once that ...
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49 votes
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Why can one still buy newspapers during lockdown?

At least in Italy, this appears to be in part a response to pressure from newspapers and their readers. On March 11th, the director of la Repubblica newspaper Carlo Verdelli published (in Italian) an ...
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