Public opinion has shifted in favor of requiring masks and face coverings in public amid spiking coronavirus cases and new public health guidelines across the United States.
A poll released Thursday by the The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 75% of those polled were “strongly” or “somewhat” in favor of requiring people to wear masks in public when around other people. Only 13% of respondents “strongly” or “somewhat” opposed such requirements.
The survey also found that a majority of both Democrats and Republicans agreed with mask requirements. Among Democrats, 89% said they were “strongly” or “somewhat” in favor while 59% of Republicans said the same. The poll results showed 95% of Democrats and 75% of Republicans said they wore masks when leaving the house.
The survey found that 81% of Americans were at least somewhat concerned that they or a family member could be infected with the coronavirus. An overwhelming 95% of Democrats surveyed said they were at least somewhat concerned, and 64% of Republicans said the same.
More than half of U.S. states have implemented mask requirements but the issue has become politicized over concerns about civil liberties and the efficiency of masks in preventing infections, CNBC reported. (RELATED: The 2020 Mask Debate: Here Are The Extreme Reactions To Mask Requirements)
Officials at the state and federal level have also expressed concern that continuing to implement restrictions in order to stop the virus from spreading could hamstring the economy, according to the Associated Press. The U.S. has nearly four million confirmed cases and more than 143,000 reported deaths, per to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center.
President Donald Trump appeared to endorse wearing masks as “patriotic” in a tweet Monday featuring a photo of himself wearing a mask.
We are United in our effort to defeat the Invisible China Virus, and many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance. There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President! pic.twitter.com/iQOd1whktN
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2020
Trump also said the pandemic was going to “get worse before it gets better” in a statement at the White House on Monday, the Associated Press reported.
The poll surveyed 1,057 American adults via mail, email, telephone and field interviews between July 16-20. The poll had a margin of error of +/- 4.3 percentage points.