(CNN)As of Tuesday morning, more than 177,000 Americans had died due to the coronavirus.
Which, according to a majority of self-identified Republicans in a new CBS/YouGov poll, is, well, OK. Almost 6 in 10 registered Republicans said they considered the current number of coronavirus deaths to be “acceptable,” while 43% said it was unacceptable.Among Democrats, 90% say the number of coronavirus deaths is unacceptable. That number is 67% among political independents.What explains the discrepancy? Partisanship, mostly.Read MoreThanks to President Donald Trump, many Republicans believe that any acknowledgment that the Covid-19 pandemic has not been handled perfectly — or at least as well as any president could be expected to do — is somehow an admission that Democrats (and the media) are right in their criticisms of Trump.
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And so, when asked whether 177,000+ of their fellow citizens dying is acceptable, which it clearly is not, they say it is — because to say anything else would be disloyal to Trump.The logical fallacy built into this way of thinking is that Covid-19 is a public health problem, not a political problem. Simply lining up in your partisan camp won’t make it go away. Democrats and Republicans get the coronavirus. Democrats and Republicans die from it.Until we start to realize that what party you belong to makes zero difference to this virus, we are going to continue to struggle to do the things we need to in order to mitigate its spread — from social distancing to mask-wearing.And until we all can acknowledge that the loss of 177,000 people is not just unacceptable but an ongoing tragedy, we are losing the sense of unity and purpose that the country was founded on.The Point: More Americans have died this year from the coronavirus than died in World War I. And more than double the number of Americans who died in the Vietnam War. There’s a word for that massive loss of life: unacceptable.