Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) in Las Vegas on Nov. 19. (David Becker for The Washington Post)

The Dec. 20 front-page article “Studies find partisan politics can affect people’s well-being” brought needed attention to the growing cost in human lives of anti-science conservatism. But the article erred in attributing this to “partisan politics” and to political polarization: “Researchers say the result of this growing polarization is clear: The nation’s overall health profile is going from bad to worse.”

The recent rise in U.S. mortality is not a two-party problem: It stems entirely from the extreme positions of a single political party. Consider, for example, the Dec. 18 Politics & the Nation article “DeSantis does an about-face on covid vaccines,” about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) decision to oppose the vaccines. To the extent polarization comes into play at all, progressive policies aimed at saving lives offset the conservative trends.

Instead of suggesting that “both sides” are responsible for the tragic increase in U.S. mortality, better to keep a laser focus on the single party whose policies are killing Americans.

Richard N. Mott, Arlington