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Right-wing party membership correlates to COVID-19 spread

(In Germany, at least)
Density of AfD votes in 2017 (left) and COVID-19 infections in 2020 (right)

Density of AfD votes in 2017 (left) and COVID-19 infections in 2020 (right)

Der Spiegel reports that sociologist Christoph Richter, working with the Research Institute for Social Cohesion, has proven what we all probably could have guessed. In areas where the right-populist Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) party had the most support in 2017, COVID-19 infections rose the fastest in 2020: 

The researchers’ calculations are so precise that they can quantify the correlation to within a single decimal place. "If the AfD gained one percentage point more in a district, then the incidence there was higher there by an average of 2.2 percentage points in the phase of the first wave when numbers rose," says Christoph Richter, a sociologist who studies right-wing extremism at the Jena Institute for Democracy and Civil Society. Mathematically, that means: If the party received one in 10 votes in one district and twice as many in another, the level of infection in the two regions differed on average by a healthy 22 percent.

Impressive work, and it's important to support our assumptions with actual science. It's also a good reminder to get your booster if you're going to be going to any far-right populist political rallies this holiday season.

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SOURCE: Der Spiegel