Covid-19: How leaders’ defiance brewed a pandemic

What you need to know:

  • Many politicians have downplayed the coronavirus crisis and discounted science, leading to dire outcomes for them and their supporters.
  • This week President Uhuru Kenya, Deputy President William Ruto and ODM leader Raila flouted Covid-19 measures by addressing large crowds without having a mask on.

How much do the words and actions of political leaders influence other people’s behaviour in a pandemic?  A lot, according to two recent surveys that suggest citizens may ignore science-based information and best practices if their leaders downplay the coronavirus crisis. 

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