On The Trail: California recall tests vaccine politics

A year and a half of cruel, brutal lockdowns in the face of a deadly virus has ripped American politics in half once again, pitting public health against economic libertarianism and further poisoning the already acrimonious nature of our modern debate.

Anchors on MSNBC judge those who have yet to receive a coronavirus vaccine or refuse to wear masks. On Fox News, hosts express outrage over President Biden’s decision to mandate vaccines for federal workers and companies with more than 100 employees.

These polarized opinions dominate the conventional wisdom of politics today, but one significant group could deliver a decision on the winner of the public health debate: voters.

As the Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus sends the United States back into the depths of another wave of disease, the first test of these opposing views comes this week, when California voters decide whether to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom (D).