Although President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have chosen against wearing face masks in public, a majority of Americans believe they should, according to a new poll published Wednesday. The same survey found the majority of Americans also believe wearing a face mask is more of a public health matter than one of personal choice. However, the HuffPost/YouGov poll also found a partisan divide on some questions about mask-wearing during the coronavirus pandemic.
The poll of 1,000 respondents found 63 percent think members of the Trump Administration should wear face masks in public. Once the number of respondents was broken down by party, though, the partisan divide was stark. Eighty-three percent of Democratic voters said Trump should wear a mask, while 46 percent of Republicans agreed. The poll was published the day before Trump took a tour of the Ford plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where he was seen wearing a face mask out of the press' view. He still refused to wear the mask in front of the cameras officially because he "didn't want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it."
Respondents were also asked if they believed wearing a mask was a sign of weakness. Eight percent of those who responded do think it makes a person look weak, while 83 percent disagreed. Only 76 percent of Republicans believed it is not a sign of weakness, while 90 percent of Democrats said it was not a sign of weakness. Earlier this month, researchers in Middlesex University in London and the Mathematical Science Research Institute in Berkeley found men were more likely than women to believe wearing a face mask was a sign of "weakness."
Elsewhere in the HuffPost/YouGov poll, 62 percent of respondents said they thought wearing a face mask is a matter of public health, while 29 percent believed it was a matter of personal choice. While 76 percent of Democrats believed mask-wearing is a matter of public health, only 51 percent of Republicans did. The poll also found that 74 percent of Americans were not bothered at all by others wearing face masks. Thirty-three percent of Americans are worried when they see people not wearing face masks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised Americans to wear face masks because some people who contract the coronavirus might not show symptoms. Some state governors have issued executive orders requiring face masks to be worn in public indoor spaces, while others are only suggesting people wear them. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. reached 1.6 million this weekend, and there are just over 97,600 deaths due to coronavirus complications per reports from Johns Hopkins University.