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Pandemics
Photo by pixeldigits / iStock

Reprinted with permissin from Alternet

When the coronavirus pandemic was killing thousands of New York City residents in the spring, many far-right Republicans in Texas and the Deep South argued that they shouldn't be forced to practice social distancing or wear protective face masks because of a Northeastern Corridor problem. They failed to realize that pandemics, from the Black Death in medieval times to the Spanish flu in 1918, can rapidly spread from one place to another. Historian Laura Ellyn Smith, in a blistering op-ed for the Washington Post, discusses the fact that COVID-19 has been hitting the South so hard recently — and argues that the "anti-science" views of far-right white Christian fundamentalists are partly to blame.

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Gov. Ron DeSantis

Photo by Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday urged people to hug the elderly despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

DeSantis said that as long as people are wearing personal protective equipment, he sees no reason not to hug people when visiting.

"Look, I'm comfortable with the PPE," the Republican governor said. "Hell, hug 'em! I mean, come on." He added that maintaining social distancing of six feet during visits — as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — seems unnecessary because it's "a reminder that it's still not normal."

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