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In San Diego, As Elsewhere, Reaction To Coronavirus Restrictions Is Political

An official reads the temperature of a woman at the entrance to the Viejas Ca...

Photo by Gregory Bull / AP Photo

Above: An official reads the temperature of a woman at the entrance to the Viejas Casino and Resort as it reopens Monday, May 18, 2020, in Alpine, Calif.

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Reaction to the various ways of dealing with the coronavirus — wearing masks, staying home, going to the beach, protesting — is often along political lines in San Diego County as elsewhere in the U.S.

Aired: May 19, 2020 | Transcript

Recent polling by CNN and others has shown that Democrats and Republicans react to the federal government's handling of the coronavirus in very different ways.

While 54% of Americans overall believe the U.S. government is doing a poor job preventing the spread of the virus, the division widens between parties. 82% of Democrats say the government is doing a poor job, while 80% of Republicans believe the government is doing a good job.

These divisions are also present, although not quite as starkly, when it comes to local restrictions such as wearing masks or practicing social distancing or to whether or not more areas of the local economy should re-open.

According to Michael Smolens, columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune, "There has been little dispute among officials across San Diego County over the local mask mandate and other social-distancing measures, though disagreements exist on how soon certain businesses should be allowed to open."

As for masks, local elected officials may agree on the necessity to wear them, but the political divide is still there. Smolens pointed to an April Ipsos poll which reported that 55% of American adults said they were voluntarily wearing masks, two-thirds of Democrats, about half of Republicans and half of independents.

Michael Smolens joined Midday Edition on Tuesday to discuss how the coronavirus has exacerbated political divisions.

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