: COVID-19 killed more people than any war or public health crisis in American history. Given that we constantly tell ourselves that we have the best health care in the world, what explains the fact that over a million Americans and counting have lost their lives and many millions suffering with the effects of the virus? In a word-partisanship. This public health crisis took on a political caste early on that it could never quite shake and the effects were deadly. Research of how members of one political ‘tribe’ or another reacted to it are stark in revealing the impact. While this was not the only factor in our grim response, it along with the social and racial inequities in our health care system co-star in this American tragedy. We discuss ‘Pandemic Politics’, the subject and the book with co-author Shana Kushner Gadarian. She wrote the book along with Sara Wallace Goodman and Thomas Pepinsky.