By Julia Lynch, University of Pennsylvania, Michael Bernhard and Daniel O’Neill, University of Florida
Much of this special issue of Perspectives on Politics speaks to the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on marginalized groups such as refugees, caregivers, and racial and ethnic minority populations. The reality of unequal experiences of COVID-19 has become even clearer since these articles were solicited in the early months of the pandemic, at a point when many in the public sphere were still seeking to reassure us that “the virus doesn’t discriminate,” or that “we are all in it together.” Researching how politics feeds into these unequal impacts of the pandemic has the potential to illuminate the central role of power and powerlessness in generating well-being and illness. These are important questions that one of us has tried to answer in some of her own work (Lynch Reference Lynch; Bambra, Lynch, and Smith Reference Bambra, Lynch and Smith). It heartens us to see the field of political science asking, and trying to answer, questions about the relationship between politics and the public’s health using the full range of intellectual and methodological tools at our disposal.