Corona case numbers and politics: Eastern Commissioner explains high incidence with AfD

Corona case numbers and politics
East representative explains high incidence with AfD

The Corona numbers are high in many AfD strongholds. Research is uncertain whether this is a correlation or a causal relationship. The federal government's commissioner for the east is completely different: The CDU politician Wanderwitz even sees similarities to the Trump voters.

According to the Federal Government's Eastern Commissioner, Marco Wanderwitz, it is no coincidence that the coronavirus, one year after its first appearance, is now particularly widespread in those counties where the AfD is strong. A sometimes loud, sometimes quiet rebellion against the infection protection policy hinders the bottom line of the virus defense, said the CDU politician to the editorial network Germany.

Of course, many factors played a role in a pandemic, said Wanderwitz. Last but not least, this includes the attitude of the people in a region to distance rules and mask requirements. "Anyone who rejects the infection protection measures, as many AfD supporters, Reich citizens and esotericists do, will ultimately help the virus to spread."

Wanderwitz added that the phenomenon now has a dimension that goes beyond party politics. In some regions of the former GDR, for example, there is a growing denial of reality, as in 2016 among Trump voters in the USA. Many simply push the complex and the unwelcome aside, curl up – and are then no longer accessible to any argument.

The Corona-AfD relationship is currently also the subject of a nationwide study at the Institute for Democracy and Civil Society (IDZ) in Jena. Its director Matthias Quent told the RND that they were still working on very complex models to explain this data. Quent had already emphasized in December that correlation does not mean causality. However, there is a statistically "strong correlation" between the corona incidence and AfD results – and not just for Saxony, but for almost all federal states. The result was so clear that he was surprised even by it, said Quent at the time. However, the researcher emphasized that there could be other factors that explain the effect – such as the population structure or the state of the healthcare system. Quent wants to pursue these questions further.

A quarter of AfD supporters consider the pandemic to be a conspiracy

Further data that suggest a possible connection was provided by a survey at the end of December on behalf of the CDU-affiliated Konrad Adenauer Foundation. Accordingly, a clear majority of AfD supporters consider it likely that the corona pandemic is a conspiracy. According to a report in the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung", 24 percent of AfD supporters affirmed the statement that the pandemic was a "conspiracy to oppress people". Another 41 percent of AfD supporters think that is at least likely. Supporters of other parties see the pandemic much less often as a conspiracy.

In the United States, researchers made similar hypotheses. In the magazine "Science" at the beginning of January they explained that there is a strong correlation between attachment to a party and willingness to adhere to contact restrictions. According to this, Republican voters are less willing to forego contacts because of the corona pandemic. And this attitude has even intensified in the months that the virus has spread.

. (tagsToTranslate) Politics (t) Marco Wanderwitz (t) Coronavirus (t) Corona measures (t) Federal states