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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Mental health stigma is back on the rise, thanks to the political response to mass shootings, a new study featured in Health Affairs says.

Why it matters: President Trump and other politicians have been conflating mental illness with violence — and experts fear that kind of marginalization only makes it harder to live with a mental illness.

What they're saying: "There’s a difference between saying somebody is troubled and is angry and saying they have a brain disorder," said the study's lead author, Bernice Pescosolido of Indiana University.

Associations between mental illness and violence are growing, the study found, as is support for forced treatment of those conditions.

  • In 2018, more than 60% believed people with schizophrenia are dangerous to others.
  • 30% characterized those with depression as likely to be violent toward others.

Reality check: People with mental illness are more likely to be victims of gun violence than perpetrators of anonymous mass shootings, according to the American Psychiatric Association.

  • Mental health reporting laws, which both Republicans and Democrats have endorsed, are not as effective as background checks and safe storage laws, Wired reports.

The bottom line: Progress has been made in reducing the stigma of mental illness, but that progress is fragile at best.

Go deeper

Scoop: Trump-backed Perdue says he wouldn’t have certified Georgia 2020 results

Perdue at a December 2020 campaign event in Columbus, Ga. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue wouldn’t have signed the certification of the state’s 2020 election results if he had been governor at the time, the former Senate Republican told Axios.

  • “Not with the information that was available at the time and not with the information that has come out now. They had plenty of time to investigate this. And I wouldn’t have signed it until those things had been investigated and that’s all we were asking for," he said.

Why it matters: There has been no evidence widespread fraud took place in Georgia's elections last year and the November results were counted three times, once by hand.

Beijing Olympics: These countries have announced diplomatic boycotts

Photo: Zhang Qiang/VCG via Getty Images

Several countries, including Canada and Australia, have announced they will join the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to protest human rights abuses committed by China's government.

Driving the news: Leaders have faced pressure from human rights groups and others to boycott the Games, pointing to the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang region and other abuses.

Biden directs federal government to become carbon neutral by 2050

President Biden speaking to reporters outside of the White House on Dec. 8.

President Biden signed an executive order Wednesday that requires the federal government achieve multiple goals related to reducing its carbon emissions, including achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Why it matters: Meeting the objectives of the order would require a massive investment by the federal government to buy electric vehicles, upgrade buildings and change how it procures electricity.