By any standard, the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic has been abysmal, with countless unnecessary deaths and suffering. Although the human impact is most important, the pandemic has also had enormous consequences on the U.S. political system. Health policy and politics scholars, particularly from political science orientations, are ideally equipped to evaluate the pandemic response from a political perspective. In this study, we report on the results of a two-wave survey of academic health policy researchers in April/May (N = 239) and September (N = 158) 2020. Respondents noted an outsized influence of public health, medicine, and economics, while noting limited public engagement of social scientists like sociologists and political scientists. The perceived expert influence declined over the two waves, while assessment of electoral consequences to favor Democrats grew. Respondents also offered a sober perspective on federal and state responses to the pandemic, forecasting lasting implications for health policy and political dynamics for years to come. Given their expertise, health policy and politics scholars appear uniquely qualified to enter the public and policy discourse going forward.
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© 2020 Policy Studies Organization
- health policy