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Reason Magazine: Victim-Blaming During a Pandemic Doesn’t Make People Safer

As National Review‘s Ellen Carmichael* pointed out, “In no other health circumstance would such brutality toward the afflicted be tolerated. We do not deem individuals who become sick by engaging in known ‘risky behaviors’—unsafe sex, abuse of alcohol, drug use, poor diet, smoking, dangerous driving—as deserving of pain and misery….[M]ocking and haranguing those who become sick or die due to COVID-19, a novel virus from which we cannot possibly shield ourselves entirely, is unconscionable.”

There is an all-too-familiar gracelessness in politicized conversations about the coronavirus. It’s not enough to merely disagree with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ approach to COVID; you have to accuse him of “putting politics in front of lives.” (For an eye-opening comparison between the disparate media treatment of DeSantis and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, check out this Twitter thread.) In the other direction, some anti-lockdown politicians and commentators routinely accuse Democratic mayors and governors of consciously preferencing “power and control” over public safety.