In this edition of Charts of the Week, three items focused on how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting our politics, undermining small businesses, and leading to disproportionate deaths among non-white Americans.
HOW POLITICS SHAPES ATTITUDES ABOUT COVID-19
Jonathan Rothwell and Christos Makridis examine Gallup survey and other data on Americans’ attitudes about the coronavirus pandemic, finding that “partisan affiliation is often the strongest single predictor of behavior and attitudes about COVID-19” and that “a state’s partisan orientation also explains its public health policies, including the timing and duration of stay-at-home orders, bans on social gathering, and mask mandates.” Rothwell and Makridis also look at the economic costs of “pandemic politics.”
SUPPRESS THE VIRUS TO HELP SMALL BUSINESSES
In a paper for the Hamilton Project at Brookings, economist Steve Hamilton examines how small businesses have been hurt by the COVID-19 crisis and policies to help them. “The single most effective measure to support small businesses,” he writes, “would be to suppress the virus.” As the chart above shows, “countries that took more aggressive steps to suppress the virus—meanwhile financially supporting people and businesses—have had less-severe economic contractions. Because the United States did not take adequate steps to suppress the virus, we have the worst of both worlds: many deaths and a severe recession.”
COVID-19 DEATHS HIGHER FOR BLACK AND HISPANIC PEOPLE
In a new “Ten Facts about COVID-19 and the U.S. economy,” Hamilton Project researchers present data and analysis on a variety of facets of the pandemic’s impact on health and the economy. The charts above, for example, show that “Black and Hispanic people are dying at much higher rates relative to their share of the U.S. population,” and that “this disparity is true for every age group.”