According to American Enterprise Institute White Evangelical Christians are Not as Concerned About COVID-19 Infection

Over at the Huffington Post the American Enterprise Institute released a study that revealed that white evangelicals are not as worried about contracting the COVID-19 virus. This data stands in contrast to many other religious groups. While I am not surprised it remains disappointing to read, and quite simply its time for white evangelicals to embrace science.

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.”

Charles Darwin

I bow before your holy Temple as I worship.  I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness; for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name.

Psalm 138:2 NLT

This is going to be interesting to see how this develops especially with the changing landscape with the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. The American Enterprise Institute,  a think tank in the Washington, D.C. are released a study that revealed that of all the religious groups white evangelicals were least concerned about contracting the coronavirus.  The study was done by Daniel Cox of American Enterprise Institute. White evangelicals also believed that President Trump was handling the pandemic well. They stood in sharp opposition to all other faith groups. The survey from American Enterprise Institute was conducted between May 21 and June 5. If you recall that was a time when COVID-19 infections were on the decline in the United States. When this report was prepared the South and the West were not being hit as hard by COVID-19. With the recent surges in infection in Florida, Texas, Mississippi, Arizona and California it will be interesting to see how white evangelicals will respond. You can read more about this at the Huntington Post in, “White Evangelicals Aren’t As Worried About COVID-19 As Other Faith Groups: Study.” 

 

Some Quick Thoughts

Call me surprised that evangelicals disbelieve science…. (NOT!)  Call me shocked that evangelicals are by-products of living in bubbles that are cut off from the world (NOT!!).  For me its disappointing that so many people are in pain, so much loss is taking place and white evangelicals dismissed the COVID-19 pandemic  and downplayed it. I don’t understand the cognitive dissonance at all. Looking at these numbers in contrast to other Protestant and Catholics is just disappointing. White evangelicals need to embrace science and realize that it is not its foe.  White evangelicals according to the Huffington Post were more eager to re-open states. The irony of this report of white evangelical behavior is that many evangelicals may end up validating that Charles Darwin was correct about natural selection. We;ll just have to wait and see. 

 

14 thoughts on “According to American Enterprise Institute White Evangelical Christians are Not as Concerned About COVID-19 Infection

  1. Maybe white evangelicals are smarter than other religious groups. Since the science now shows that the pandemic is ending, they seem to have the most accurate view.

    I ran across this blog post today. It’s long, and has a ton of links, but what it amounts to is that the herd immunity threshold appears to be much lower than we thought back in March, and has nearly been reached for the US as a whole / on the average. The recent uptick in cases, driven by the Floyd protests, has not resulted in an increase in deaths, because mostly young people participated in the protests and young people tend to not die from covid-19. There has not been an uptick in young people in the NYC area because that area had already achieved herd immunity by the time of the protests.

    Using his math my own state’s implied covid infection rate is about 5%, so my area might still be on the hook for more deaths, but our death graph trend is similar to the ones in the article: trending down.

    That blog post emphasizes something that I’ve been saying for a while now (not on this blog): the important numbers to track are not cases that we know about, but hospital capacity and deaths. As with every disease, people at high risk for issues need to be protected, but as long as the hospitals are not overflowing and deaths are not skyrocketing, it’s better to let the disease spread through the not-at-risk population to provide herd immunity. Now it seems that the amount of people necessary to achieve herd immunity is lower than we thought.

    What’s possibly the most effective way to transmit the disease through a population, short of deliberately infecting people? I think it might be singing in large groups. Maybe in the fall we should mandate choir classes for high schoolers.

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    • Peter the pandemic ending? I would suggest your sources for information have issues. There have been several issues about herd immunity in Sweden and the problems they have had there. The NY Times and the Washington Post have written about that recent;y. So has some of the regular European press. While deaths are a part of measuring it it should not be the only way to judge the severity of it. Some people who are surviving COVID-19 are dealing with scarred lungs and what is amounting to permanent health conditions. Evangelicals are not ahead of the curve and right. Instead they are foolish and naive. When New York City and Seattle were being hammered many said that its an urban issue and not here. Now look at it….some of the most red areas Texas, Florida, Mississippi are being hammered and hospitals are being overwhelmed. In the end science will always win.

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      • Peter the pandemic ending? I would suggest your sources for information have issues.

        I would suggest his sources for information are on the order of
        “Trump Said It,
        I BELIEVE It,
        THAT SETTLES IT!”

        Or a character from the Fifties B&W version of Day of the Triffids — a woman (holed up on an estate in Spain?) whose tag line is “Everything Is Back To Normal!”

        P.S. Just as my alarm went off this morning, I caught the tail end of something about a church and COVID. A partial quote from a Pastor/Superapostle whose church is “Back To Normal”:

        “GOD tells us how we should Worship — NOT SACRAMENTO!!!”

        Liked by 1 person

      • Peter the pandemic ending? I would suggest your sources for information have issues.

        Very true, since the source is the CDC itself. Quote: “Mortality attributed to COVID-19 decreased compared to last week and is currently at the epidemic threshold but will likely increase as additional death certificates are processed.” What is the epidemic threshold? It’s complicated, of course, but it is based on the percentage of deaths in a week that are due to the illness in question. This webmd article from 2005 goes into more detail about the definitions of epidemic and pandemic for flu and other diseases. The bottom line is that the number of deaths from coronavirus in a week is dropping so low that pretty soon it won’t meet the technical definition. The number of deaths from coronavirus is, of course, publicly available information. In my state there have been about 21 deaths from covid-19 in the last week. On the average there are about 1000 deaths per week in my state. It’s not an epidemic here.

        While deaths are a part of measuring it it should not be the only way to judge the severity of it. Some people who are surviving COVID-19 are dealing with scarred lungs and what is amounting to permanent health conditions.

        Certainly true, and those cases are certainly very sad. What percentage of the population have these issues? This mirrors the larger situation: we want to be sure to keep things in perspective and not let the new and novel inflate the severity in our minds.

        Now look at it….some of the most red areas Texas, Florida, Mississippi are being hammered and hospitals are being overwhelmed.

        Do you have a citation for hospitals being overwhelmed? As I said earlier, that is one of the things that we should be paying attention to. During the height of the epidemic in NYC, hospitals were not overwhelmed there. Of course, rural areas don’t have emergency hospitals set up by the military. I did just read yesterday about a press conference in Houston where a group of doctors said, don’t panic, we have plenty of hospital capacity and are treating everyone who needs it. Of course, this was not widely reported in the blue media.

        In my state there are currently 254 hospitalized covid-19 patients and 2338 (21%) hospital beds available (that’s 21% available out of the total number of beds). The number of hospitalized covid patients is slightly inflated because it includes people who are hospitalized for other reasons (e.g. gunshot) who also happened to test positive for the virus. In Arizona, the only other state whose numbers I happen to have up right now (my company has an office in Arizona), the number of newly hospitalized covid patients has dropped dramatically in the last week, and they have 1600 non-emergency beds available (roughly 10% of the total). These are the officially published state numbers.

        What I have seen is not that they have been “hammered”, but that the positive test results in those areas are up, so far without a corresponding increase in deaths, though we will see what happens with deaths over the next 2-3 weeks. Since it seems like the newly infected are trending younger (we have largely learned how to protect nursing homes) it stands to reason that the deaths will not spike, but as I said, we will see. Hospitalization of covid cases seems like a reliable leading indicator of covid deaths.

        Evangelicals are not ahead of the curve and right. Instead they are foolish and naive.

        Well, they’re on the side of science on this one.

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      • Dr. Fauci addressed the issue of deaths an younger people.

        “It’s a false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death,” Fauci said during a live stream press conference with Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama, a Democrat.
        “There’s so many other things that are very dangerous and bad about this virus, don’t get yourself into false complacency.”

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      • Dr. Fauci addressed the issue of deaths an younger people.

        Dr. Fauci also told us not to wear masks.

        “It’s a false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death,” Fauci said during a live stream press conference with Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama, a Democrat.
        “There’s so many other things that are very dangerous and bad about this virus, don’t get yourself into false complacency.”

        Again I ask, how many people are affected?

        Fauci is wrong: we should not take comfort in a higher rate of death. He’s right in that we should not be complacent, but we should take comfort in the improving trend lines that we see. The curve has been flattened.

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      • Dr. Fauci addressed the issue of deaths an younger people.

        Problem is, when you’re young You’re Immortal and Invulnerable.

        Some people who are surviving COVID-19 are dealing with scarred lungs and what is amounting to permanent health conditions.

        It’s called “The Long Tail” — extremely long and slow recovery and permanent damage to lungs, heart, and even brain. Unlike other acute respiratory infections, COVID is shaping up as primarily vascular, scarring the blood vessels and clogging capillaries with micro-clots. That explains why ventilators don’t help as much (the blockage/dieoff is in the capillaries servicing the alevoli) and why in young people it’s more likely to manifest as strokes (blood clotting).

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      • What I have seen is not that they have been “hammered”, but that the positive test results in those areas are up, so far without a corresponding increase in deaths, though we will see what happens with deaths over the next 2-3 weeks.

        Positives normally lag exposure/infection by one to two weeks.
        Hospitalizations normally lag surfacing of symptoms by about a week.
        Deaths normally lag hospitalizations by one to two weeks (with a long tail).

        What this means is that deaths will rise around a MONTH after the positive test results rise. One Month Lag. (Which also means when the deaths start going up, the virus has been spiking and spreading for around an entire month.)

        Was if Florida who claimed Victory THREE DAYS after they opened up because positives, hospitalizations, and deaths had not gone up in those THREE DAYS?

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      • Positives normally lag exposure/infection by one to two weeks.
        Hospitalizations normally lag surfacing of symptoms by about a week.
        Deaths normally lag hospitalizations by one to two weeks (with a long tail).

        Indeed, and this was largely my point: normally when there is an increase in cases, there is an increase in deaths a couple weeks later, but the May/June increase in cases didn’t seem to produce an increase in deaths. (An increase in hospitalizations doesn’t worry me until hospitals start to run out of room.)

        As you point out, that’s not true for Arizona. Looking at the Arizona state covid info, they did have an increase in deaths in late June / early July, which is now receding. If they are the canary in the coal mine, it seems like we are back on the trajectory of decreasing deaths that we want to be on.

        My main worry at this point is that decision-makers will look at the increase in cases and use it to justify additional lockdowns, despite the scientific evidence against the efficacy of lockdowns. “We have to do something, this is something, so we have to do this!”

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  2. I would suggest his sources for information are on the order of
    “Trump Said It,
    I BELIEVE It,
    THAT SETTLES IT!”

    Lol, Trump. Not everyone who disagrees with you about something is a Trump supporter. On a personal level I hope that he turns from his wicked ways and finds God. I am a policy person, and I am absolutely amazed at how Trump, a cultural liberal, has advanced the causes and policies that I care about.

    I don’t keep track of what Trump says, so I don’t know if he’s said anything about the virus that I would agree with. If Trump were to take my advice, he’d give his Twitter account to his PR team and make them change the password.

    Note that “Trump says X” is not evidence that “X is false”. If you want to refute X, you need more than “Trump said X”.

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    • Don’t you remember the original CHRISTIAN(TM) Bumper Sticker?

      It’s because too many Christians mistake Trump for Christ and worship accordingly.

      And one of this blog’s regular trolls IS that kind of Trump Fanatic.

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  3. A completely different explanation for evangelical lack of worry about covid might be the spread of neo-Calvinism. If you believe that everything that happens, good or bad, is God’s divine will, then there’s no point or benefit to worrying about anything.

    Or maybe I have just been predestined since before time began to think so. Dum dum dummmmmmmm….

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