Actor Sophia Bush was spotted wearing a mask that doubled as a political statement. The This Is Us star was spotted making a grocery run on Thursday with a black cover that read "This Was Preventable" in white letters, according to PEOPLE. The mask itself was sold by Crooked Media, a political media company that has been resoundingly critical of President Donald Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic. The covers came in packs of three, with another reading "Support Healthcare Workers," and the third simply "Vote!" While they're currently sold out, portions of all sales were donated to the company's coronavirus relief fund. The fund has taken in about $2 million so far.
Bush has also been openly critical of the president's handling of the pandemic, and on Sunday posted the now-famous front page of the New York Times marking 100,000 deaths in the U.S. from COVID-19. "I cannot fathom how we got here, to this combative point in our collective experience where we deny science and act like this dereliction of duty which resulted in tens of thousands of preventable deaths is no big deal," Bush wrote in the caption. "The cruelty is horrific."
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The question of wearing masks in public, which is still the official recommendation of both the CDC and WHO, has itself become a political issue. Particularly as the public remains divided over the gradual re-opening of non-essential businesses, which led to some mixed results over Memorial Day weekend.
The issue has extended to Trump's own refusal to wear a mask in public, which has already received widespread criticism online. Particularly after likely Democratic nominee Joe Biden wore one at a Memorial Day remembrance on Monday. A recent poll of 1,000 respondents found 63 percent think members of the Trump Administration should wear face masks in public, although the divisions were predictably partisan. For example, eighty-three percent of Democratic voters said Trump should wear a mask, though only 46 percent of Republicans agreed.
Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of Trump's coronavirus task force, addressed the necessity of wearing masks on Fox News Sunday. "We now have excellent scientific evidence of how far droplets go when we speak or just simply talking to one another," Birx explained. "We know it's important for people to socially interact, but we also know it's very important for people to have masks on when they speak."