Republicans Refuse to Wear Masks

A majority of Americans of every sex, race, education, income, or region do the right thing. With one exception.

green surgical masks on green background
Covid-19 by Prachatai licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 via Flickr.

Anecdotally, many of us has observed differences in who is wearing a masks and seen the issue become a political football. New polling has confirmed that the divide is stark.

Gallup (“Americans’ Face Mask Usage Varies Greatly by Demographics“):

t has been more than three months since the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reversed course and recommended that Americans wear face masks in public to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Gallup has been measuring U.S. adults’ use of face masks since early April and has found nearly nine in 10 say they have used one in the past week. Yet, new data on how often masks are being used reveals that less than half of Americans are heeding health officials’ guidance and always covering their nose and mouth when in public, especially when social distancing is difficult to maintain.

Forty-four percent of U.S. adults say they “always” wear a mask when outside their homes, and 28% say they do so “very often.” At the same time, three in 10 report doing so less often, including 11% “sometimes,” 4% “rarely” and 14% “never.”

While people have an incentive to over-report mask wearing, 44 percent claiming to “always” wear one and other 28 percent doing so “very often” is extraordinary; that’s nearly two-thirds.

Alas, the breakdown is telling.

While majorities of women (54%), Democrats (61%), Northeasterners (54%), and those with annual household incomes under $36,000 (51%) say they always use masks outside their homes, their counterparts do so less often. Still, with just one exception, majorities in each of these subgroups — as well as education and age groups — say they wear a mask in public at least very often.

The one exception is Republicans, among whom a majority say they wear masks infrequently — either sometimes (18%), rarely (9%) or never (27%). Although President Donald Trump has been reluctant to wear one in public, other Republican leaders have come out in support of using them. [emphasis added]

Not only do a majority of people in every demographic and regional cohort wear masks “very often” or “always,” “always” is the modal answer across the board—with the exception of those identifying as Republican, where “never” is the modal answer.

In this case, party ID literally Trumps (pun intended) race, sex, education, income level, and region. This is not a case where Party ID is a proxy for culture or interests. It’s literally those identifying with the party breaking with literally every other aspect of their being in being unwilling to take on a relatively modest inconvenience to help keep their fellow citizen safe from a deadly illness.

In all candor, I’m in the “very often” rather than “often” category. I’m pretty religious about wearing a mask in spaces where I’ll encounter others and have been wearing them in stores since before it was legally required here in Virginia. But I live in a rather remote area and don’t wear a mask when I go on walks. Nor do I wear them while driving, which seems silly.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, COVID-19, Society, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Sleeping Dog says:

    you can’t fix stupid

    I’d like to see a breakdown by state.

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  2. CSK says:

    Fox News contributor and failed (three times) Congressional candidate Dan Bongino said, a few days ago, that those responsible for mask orders affecting his Florida county “can take your mask mandate and shove it right up your ass.” His words, not mine.

    I don’t know how big his podcast audience is.

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  3. grumpy realist says:

    The questions on the survey are badly designed. What about people like me, who wear a mask inside stores and on crowded streets, but not when walking around the neighbourhood?

    I think the “mask-wearing inside stores, not outside where it seems ridiculous” percentage is pretty high.

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  4. Sleeping Dog says:

    @grumpy realist:

    There is always a mask in my pocket, but walking around it’s not on. Go into a store or need to interact with someone at a close, but socially distant, distance then on it goes.

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  5. Northerner says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Same. I always wear a mask in stores or crowded public events (and don’t go inside other people’s homes), but otherwise don’t. So I’d be in the “sometimes” category, though I’m in the “always” category in terms of what are considered Covid-19 risk areas.

    And I think that’s pretty much the norm in Canada (most of which is far from conservative by Republican standards). The questionnaire would be a lot more useful if it asked about how often people wore masks in areas suggested by their local medical authorities.

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  6. CSK says:

    @grumpy realist: @Sleeping Dog:
    People seem quite mask-compliant here (northeast Mass.), but most people I see driving solo or walking by themselves outdoors don’t bother with face coverings. Seems reasonable.

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  7. James Joyner says:

    @grumpy realist: @Sleeping Dog: @CSK: As noted in the OP, that’s where I am. I can’t imagine that 44% of the country are wearing their masks while driving alone or with family members, for example.

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  8. PJ says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    you can’t fix stupid

    I’d like to see a breakdown by state.

    It would very likely be very small sub samples for most states.

    —–

    94% of Democrats say that they wear masks always or very often.
    36% of Republicans say that they wear masks rarely or never.

    A poll with D + leaning D vs R + leaning R would be interesting.

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  9. CSK says:

    @James Joyner:
    Well, clearly we’re just sheeple being groomed by the globalists for the coming worldwide socialist takeover.

    Which reminds me: Has Q had anything to say about the Great International Mask Conspiracy, or is he/she/it too busy forecasting the imminent arrest of Hillary Clinton et al. on child molestation and cannibalism charges?

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  10. Kathy says:

    I put a mask on before leaving the house, and keep it on most of the time until I come back. I remove it for breakfast, for coffee, and for lunch. Half the time I replace it around 2-3 pm if it feels damp. Of course I wear one at any time I go out, indoors or outdoors.

    I don’t wear one at home, unless it’s necessary. For instance, during my vacation, the plumber had to come in to unclog a pipe. I wore a mask the whole time they were there, and I’m glad to note they did as well.

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  11. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Republicans see masks as a political statement, because Trump told them it was.
    The truth is that masks are an IQ test.

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  12. @grumpy realist:

    The questions on the survey are badly designed. What about people like me, who wear a mask inside stores and on crowded streets, but not when walking around the neighbourhood?

    I guess that fits into “very often”–which is where I am. I wear them when I shop, but do not when I walk in my neighborhood (and not when I drive by myself or with my wife–at which point the car is just an extension of my house as far as I am concerned).

    I will say this: “Never” is a definitive answer regardless of potential interpretation issues as to the difference between “Always” and “Very Often.”

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  13. @Northerner:

    and don’t go inside other people’s homes

    It just occurred to me that I have not been inside anyone else’s house, save my oldest son’s new apartment, briefly, since early March. The closest I have come is someone’s backyard once.

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  14. Gustopher says:

    20% of independents also never or rarely wear masks, compared to 36% of Republicans and 2% of Democrats. Alas, there is no breakdown by who they voted for in 2016, or where they get their news.

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  15. gVOR08 says:

    Referencing your Larry Hogan post, Republicans believe they can win at the national level only by exploiting each and every social cleavage. Trump made masks an issue so that he could run on it. Journalists keep saying he’s trying to get back to normal to boost the economy. That’s normalizing him by assuming rational political calculation. The virus is bad for him, so he’s just pretending it’s not real. And a scary share of Republicans are happy to dive down that rabbit hole with him.

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  16. JohnMcC says:

    I’ve noticed in trips to stores the % of mask-wearers has increased over time and in the last week or two it has become nearly universal. Of course… Florida.

    There are variations. Winn-Dixie and Target are virtually 100% compliant. 7-11 not so much. Do not have contact with much ethnic diversity here in my white-as-wonder-bread subdivision and have thought that would be interesting to observe.

    There must be plenty of Mr Trump’s voters in the ’16 election who I’m seeing behind that fabric since he actually carried Pinellas by 1%. It would be interesting to me to creep into those folks’ heads and observe their evolution into a mask-wearers.

    Like everyone else, I temper masking for the situation and that also is noticeably universal. When walking the dog in our park, people are obvious and studious in estimating what seems like a safe social distance.

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  17. KM says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    The truth is that masks are an IQ test.

    As harsh as this sounds, it’s closer to the truth then many Republican would like to admit. Not intelligence per se but the ability to think for oneself. They’ve allowed themselves to be conned into accepting that something that would protect them and help keep the economy going is a political ploy / hoax instead of a temporary necessity. Even basic logic or reasoning would lead one to conclude that masks are needed to get this under control. Believing it’s a deliberate attempt to ruin your “rights” or conspiracy to grab power, a plot to make Trump look bad or even to disregard the obvious evidence that COVID is a lot more dangerous then most diseases we’re used to requires one to ignore Occam’s Razor and indulge in… well, in clear delusion.

    You cannot ascribe such a strong tribal reaction to something like this without having to acknowledge that critical thinking skills are a factor. Namely, that if Republicans have them they’re deliberately not used them on this topic. They’ve chosen to follow their leaders’ insane position and accept illogical reasons to let them do as they please. I would have thought lockdowns would have been the lib answer and masks the repub one since masks let the economy keep on going but still puts money over people. Instead, we’ve got a near complete divorce from reality that’s literally killing Americans and they’ve no intent of stopping. Future generations are not going to be kind when reviewing this time period; hell, the next few decades are going to be full of people going “IDK what you’re talking about, I was never anti-mask. That’s a lib lie to make conservatives look bad!!”

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  18. Scott F. says:

    @CSK: It’s not enough for the Bonginos of the country to quietly choose not to wear a mask based on their personal assessment of the risks. No, not wearing a mask is a heroic stand against the draconian forces of the leftist cabal.

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  19. EddieInCA says:

    I wear my mask, indoors or out, if I’m within 20 feet of anyone. I carry it in my pocket, and have two backups in case it gets lost. I wear it on the golf course on the tee box, on the putting green, and on the range. I don’t wear it when I’m driving alone in my SUV with the windows up. But when I’m driving one of the ragtops with the top down, I wear the mask.

    I’ve been tested five times in three weeks (due to work), and each front desk person has thanked me for wearing my ask walking in, not putting it on after I’ve walked in.

    Here in Utah, it’s surprising how many don’t wear masks at all.

    Also, I’m driving back and forth to LA (9.5 hrs), rather than fly. It cuts into my weekend time at home, but at least I’m in control of my environment.

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  20. Joe says:

    I live across the street from a large city park with a wide sidewalk walking trail. I would venture to guess maybe 15-20% wear masks when walking that trail without regard to proximity to others. Of those unmasked, about 40% step off the wide sidewalk when crossing paths with others to ensure 6+ feet. Most just hug their side of the sidewalk. Fewer than 10% seem to pay no attention to their passing distance. In stores in my town, pretty much 100% masks. Smaller towns around me, not so much.

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  21. EddieInCA says:

    Two different anecdotes, same point:

    https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/florida/os-ne-florida-county-commission-coronavirus-20200713-zk5nxsjarnh2fbe6hfbgixbcym-story.html

    A St. Johns County commissioner who voted against requiring the wearing of masks in the county this month is now in the hospital because of coronavirus, according to a report from Florida Politics.

    The website reported that Ashley Waldron Zapata, the daughter of Commissioner Paul Waldron, posted to Facebook on Friday that he is “critical” condition with complications from COVID-19.

    https://www.cleveland19.com/2020/07/10/year-old-port-clinton-war-vet-dies-covid-complications-fourth-july/?fbclid=IwAR1PHvEagshs_Wg9tfnBojugvxJYdaYEAb9VaxX_s8ENvd6-q9iMisu0Knk

    PORT CLINTON, Ohio (WOIO) – Richard Rose was only 37 years old when he died at his home from complications due to COVID-19. He was born and raised in Port Clinton.

    Those who knew Rose described him as kind, funny, and caring.

    His family said he was very active in helping homeless vets and in preventing veteran suicide.

    The Port Clinton man served in the U.S. Army for nine years and did two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He died at his home from complications related to COVID-19 on the Fourth of July.

    “We were blown away, you know? You hear about this virus and you don’t expect it to affect people, younger people like ourselves,” said Nick Conley, who was Rose’s friend.

    Conley met Rose through a shared love of video games. He is crushed that he lost his friend to this virus, but he’s also hurt by something Rose posted on Facebook back in April.

    That post has now been shared more than 10,000 times. It reads, “Let’s make this clear. I’m not buying a mask. I’ve made it this far by not buying into that damn hype.”

    —————

    Sad. Really. It would be easy to make fun of them, but, like the kid in San Antonio who died after saying his last words, “I thought it was a hoax.”, it’s just sad.

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  22. Monala says:

    @KM: Good points. Some Republican conspiracy theories are so outlandish there’s really nothing anyone can do to disprove them (e.g., Bill Gates wants a vaccine in order to microchip everyone). But some things even they should be able to apply logic to, such as:

    1. “Wearing masks causes people to get sick from breathing in excess CO2.” If that were the case, then how have doctors, surgeons, building trades professionals, and others who wears masks all day long been able to survive?

    2. “It’s a Democrat hoax to ruin the economy and destroy Trump’s re-election chances.” If that were the case, how did we get the entire world to go along with it?

    3. “The only reason people are saying hydroxychloroquine doesn’t work is because people don’t want to give Trump credit.” Do they really believe people all over the world would forgo an effective treatment just to own Donald Trump?

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  23. Monala says:

    I have been trying to limit my shopping to smaller stores, but this weekend I needed to visit my local Walmart. They’re checking everyone at the door to make sure they’re wearing masks. However, once inside, at least half the people had pulled the masks off their nose, or all the way down around their neck.

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  24. DrDaveT says:

    This is not a case where Party ID is a proxy for culture or interests.

    Following up on @KM and @CSK, it may well be a case where Party ID is a proxy for information sources.

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  25. CSK says:

    @Scott F.:
    That’s just what the anti-mask contingent believes: that they’re taking a heroic stand against the draconian forces of socialism.

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  26. Jen says:

    I do not wear a mask when walking the dog around the cul-de-sac with my husband. The only people we’re likely to see are other neighbors and we wave from the road. It’s important I think to note that our cul-de-sac is separated from other homes, it’s not part of a larger community, we’re effectively bordered on all sides by farm properties or single homes on dirt roads–an island of suburbia in farm country.

    Anywhere I go outside of my community, I wear a mask. I put it on in the car once I’ve arrived at the destination (groceries/pharmacy/bank/to pick up take out) and it stays on the entire time. Most people are compliant, I always see a handful of people without them on at the grocery store but for the most part, people are wearing them. And notably, my town and the two closest towns nearby all voted for Trump in 2016.

    I’m still trying to figure out why the Northeast is faring somewhat better than other states/regions, and keep circling back to the fact that New England is the least religious region in the country, and just general reticence. Even before covid it would be unusual to have a stranger talk to you in the grocery store.

    Sen. Cruz was photographed on an American Airlines flight without a mask (masks are allegedly mandatory but apparently it’s okay to ignore that rule if you’re a Senator). Arrogant jerk.

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  27. Jen says:

    I love businesses with a sense of humor about wearing masks. These are good.

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  28. Gustopher says:

    @Monala:

    3. “The only reason people are saying hydroxychloroquine doesn’t work is because people don’t want to give Trump credit.” Do they really believe people all over the world would forgo an effective treatment just to own Donald Trump?

    People are forgoing the simplest precautions just to stand with Trump, so maybe?

    I don’t think that’s happening, but as soon as he put his grubby little fingers in the pot and started stirring, a large number of people on the left assumed it was snake oil, and all research was politicized. I think if the research was better we would come around on it, but I’m not 100% sure we would believe it.

    If Trump announces a vaccine, will you believe him?

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  29. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Jen:

    I’m still trying to figure out why the Northeast is faring somewhat better than other states/regions, and keep circling back to the fact that New England is the least religious region in the country, and just general reticence. Even before covid it would be unusual to have a stranger talk to you in the grocery store.

    I’d endorse that as a reason. Another is that outside of Massachusetts, the R-party is still reality based and value science in the rest of the region, though Maine is questionable.

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  30. al Ameda says:

    I’m diligent about wearing a mask when I’m in line to enter a store or pickup food for takeout. Most establishments around here (country suburb) require a mask to enter the premises or order takeout at a window. People socially distance (6 feet) and wear masks.

    I walk in a regional park everyday, once you leave the upper area the paths are dirt – Some wear masks some do not, and everyone tries to maintain distance. I do not wear a mask on the trails.

    I do not wear a mask while driving.

    People around here generally adhere to the CDC and government guidelines. Then again, the suburbs north of San Francisco are generally very liberal.

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  31. Monala says:

    @Gustopher: I’d believe it from other, more trustworthy sources.

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  32. Kathy says:

    @Jen:

    Many airlines require masks, but most leave it up to the flight attendants’ discretion to enforce the requirement in flight, some airlines simply don’t enforce it. So you can board with the mask on, and remove it off during the take off roll, and chances are you’ll experience no problems.

    BTW, I recall wearing masks on and off during the 2009 flu pandemic, but not much more. I think I mostly wore them outside the office back then. but H1N1 didn’t have asymptomatic transmission, nor was it as deadly.

    Back in march this year I wore a mask for a couple of hours while delivering samples to a client. It was partly for show, partly for self-preservation (back then hand sanitizer was deemed sufficient). I had a dreadful time of it. The mask kept riding up and getting in my eyes (I hadn’t figured out the wire yet), it was hot, it got in my field of vision and I found that distracting, etc.

    When it looked masks were a good idea, and that they’d be mandated at the office (I saw a case arrive at the downstairs reception), I just resigned myself.

    In a way it’s like wearing new shoes that don’t fit that well, or wearing eye glasses for the first time. It’s uncomfortable, maybe even painful, but after a few days you get used to it.

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  33. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    “…outside of Massachusetts, the Republican party is still reality-based…”

    I’m not sure what you mean by this. Charlie Baker is still reality-based and pro-science. I think. The Republicans I know personally wear masks and loathe Trump.

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  34. Jen says:

    @Kathy: American Airlines requires that passengers wear a mask; they are allowed to take it off only to eat/drink and are required to put it back on immediately after. Cruz was holding a coffee cup in one hand, and his cell phone in the other. You cannot see his mask anywhere in the photo. American Airlines has just issued a statement that they are investigating the incident.

    He’ll probably get away with it, but what an arrogant jerk. He should be setting an example. This gutless wonder will likely run for president again in 2024.

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  35. Kathy says:

    @Jen:

    I haven’t read many trip reports in the age of corona, but every now and then there are photos of people not wearing masks on planes. I have read some people take advantage of the exception about eating and drinking, and then take an hour to drink a tiny plastic cup of coke.

    Not everyone is an asshole all the time, but some people are. Some, like Cruz, or Trump, make a career of it.

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  36. Lounsbury says:

    When I started saying a few years ago that the US Republican Party had become a party of right-Bolsheviks, I thought I was engaging in a slight hyperbole. But but you have now Trump engaging in a Twitter version of a literal Doctor’s Plot as a low-rent less competent by a long English mile than Stalin. History does repeat itself as farce.

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  37. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:

    …is still reality-based and pro-science. I think. The Republicans I know personally wear masks and loathe Trump

    I’d say that a broad swath of the R’s that I know don’t insist on there own set of facts, though they, as I, draw different inferences from those facts. Despite the reality TV show host’s tantrums, R’s in NH & VT lined up behind the R governors. Did they fret and express concern about the plight of businesses due to the lock down and the inconvenience of many decrees, yes, but in general have followed along. Are there buffoons, lot’s of them, but I come across a lot of magical thinking among leftist as well. They’re just easier to tolerate.

    So my point is that R’s in the northeast can still be reliable governing partners, though not the government you’d prefer. That can’t be said for much of the country.

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  38. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Okay, thanks. It sounded as if you were you were saying that all New England Republicans were reality-based except for Massachusetts Republicans.

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  39. grumpy realist says:

    @JohnMcC: The only other data point I’ve noticed around here is that Black people are more likely to wear masks than us pasty-pink people. (Black people, 95%, pasty-pink people, 60%) Hispanics I can’t really draw any conclusion about because 99% I’ve met have been working (landscaping) and yeah, masks. (Everyone I’ve run into doing business has worn a mask.)

    We’ve also developed this etiquette for encountering people on the sidewalks around here during our daily walks. A lot of us take our walks with our masks around our necks, and then when we see someone coming our way, we put the mask on and start walking to one side or other of the sidewalk for social distancing. Quite a few of us hop out into the street. Pass the other person, then go back on the sidewalk and slip the mask off again.

    Illinois still seems to have COVID-19 under control even though the cases have been inching up again. What everyone is obsessed about now is the opening of the schools–partly because every school seems to be doing it differently and parents are pulling their hair out having to plan.

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  40. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Monala: “It’s a Democrat hoax to ruin the economy and destroy Trump’s re-election chances.” If that were the case, how did we get the entire world to go along with it?

    We have powers that one underestimates at their own peril. Bwahahahahahahaaa….

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  41. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gustopher: I think if the research was better we would come around on it, but I’m not 100% sure we would believe it.

    The research I’ve read of showed there was no benefit and some severe downsides.

    If Trump announces a vaccine, will you believe him?

    The Liar in Chief? You are a fool to believe anything he says before it has been confirmed by someone with standing in the relevant field.

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  42. de stijl says:

    @CSK:

    Mass Rs seem to be amenable to co-existence and compromise.

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  43. de stijl says:

    It is on Trump and those that echo him that mask-wearing became politicized.

    It did not need to happen. Trump made it so.

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  44. de stijl says:

    I wouldn’t know how to answer the question.

    I always wear a mask in a store. Above the nose, thank you.

    On the street. Always, if crowded. No, if backstreets were no else is nearby.

    I would count that as always. Where it matters, yes always.

    If there is no risk to others or me, no.

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  45. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    They are. They tend to be fiscally conservative and socially liberal; the latter is an outgrowth of the ethic of minding your own business. Mass. Republicans, like all New England Republicans, are a different breed from, say, Alabama Republicans.

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  46. Unsympathetic says:

    @CSK:
    Funny how all those “Law and Order” types flip on a dime when the law or order in question doesn’t also make them feel good. It’s almost like they don’t actually believe what they say!

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  47. Unsympathetic says:

    Quoting Gorsuch from the McGirt decision : “Unlawful acts, performed long enough and with sufficient vigor, are never enough to amend the law.”

    Do these non-mask people walk slowly through construction sites without hardhats? Do they accelerate past policemen pointing violently at their lack of a seat belt? Do they find a way to reject force-placed flood insurance on beach homes?

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  48. de stijl says:

    @Unsympathetic:

    Not wearing a mask is performative noncompliance.

    Trump taught them that.

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  49. David M says:

    From my experience, a mask mandate moved the percentage of people wearing masks from around 50% to over 90%

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  50. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Unsympathetic: Do they find a way to reject force-placed flood insurance on beach homes?

    Well, not that, seeing as it is federally subsidized and they could never afford the insurance on their own that the banks all require before they will even think about loaning the money for their beach front properties.

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  51. The Q says:

    CSK, you wrote, “Which reminds me: Has Q had anything to say about the Great International Mask Conspiracy, or is he/she/it too busy forecasting the imminent arrest of Hillary Clinton et al. on child molestation and cannibalism charge“

    At the risk of running afoul of Mr. Joyners admonishment, “go F yourself”.

    Let me clear up your burlesqued version of my quite correct comments regarding HRC which you die hard neolib loons just can’t accept:
    We ran the most unpopular, disliked candidate in the history of polling. She lost to a lunatic by neglecting blue collar states won by Obama. Without that corrupt, narcissist on the ballot, Dems had a huge midterm turnover in the House, record turnouts in many Dem primaries this year and now have a 10-13 pt lead in the race for POTUS and may pick up 6 Senate seats.

    But try explaining that to the neolib equivalent of the brain dead trump supporter who willfully deludes themselves as they slurp up All things Hillary.

    As for the mask debate? The continuing GOP anti mask behavior should be declared a terrorist act and the GOP should be labeled a terrorist organization.

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  52. Gustopher says:

    @The Q: I believe that the esteemed CSK was referring to Q of QAnon fame, not you. And, I believe that you owe them an apology.

    Your moniker has been eclipsed by other meanings. You may wish to change it to prevent further misunderstandings, but that’s between you and the deranged conspiracy theorists, I suppose.

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  53. CSK says:

    @The Q:
    I was referring to Q of QAnon fame. Forgive me, but I had totally forgotten your existence. And I assumed, possibly incorrectly, that everyone by now would know who of QAnon fame is.

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  54. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:

    Given that Mass R’s can have a convention in a broom closet, I wasn’t considering them. That and the fact that the ones I run into are nuts. You have broader exposure.

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  55. de stijl says:

    @CSK:

    I hope commenter The Q understands the nym is open to misunderstanding given Q-Anon.

    It is inconceivable to me that Michael Flynn swore that oath on camera. Someone that susceptible to utter bullshit very recently commanded many men and women. Was a senior leader. Wow!

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  56. @David M:

    From my experience, a mask mandate moved the percentage of people wearing masks from around 50% to over 90%

    If we had a president who supported mask-wearing and, therefore, gave governors political cover for requiring them, we would be in a much better position.

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  57. Sleeping Dog says:

    @de stijl:
    @CSK:

    Thankfully, New England R’s are a different breed from the rest of the country. The religious right was shocked, SHOCKED!!!, when the effort to repeal marriage equality was crushed in the NH house in 2012, despite R’s having a 2/3 majority in the House and Senate. Reinforces Jen’s point from the open thread, New Englanders don’t go to church.

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  58. Jax says:

    @The Q: Wow. That’s all I got. And I agree, you owe CSK an apology. CSK was absolutely not referring to you.

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  59. The Q says:

    I profusely apologize. In the lexicon of the streets “my bad”.

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  60. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @David M: Alas, not where I live. People are required to wear masks whenever in public, but most only wear them in places signed “No Admittance Without Mask.” Last time I walked in the local park, I was the only one of 25 or 3o people I encountered wearing a mask. It’s part of the mystique of how we went from 60 total cases before Memorial Day to 286 now with 180 current active cases. We “reopened” the Monday following Memorial Day. Oh well…

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  61. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Oh, some Massachusetts Rs are undoubtedly nuts. But others are quite reasonable, and you can do business with them. As you say, there aren’t that many of either kind, which is why I find it interesting that so many Republicans–Volpe, Sargent, Weld, Romney, Baker–get elected governor. Volpe and Sargent are dead, but they’d probably be as appalled by Trump as Weld, Romney, and Baker are.

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  62. CSK says:

    @The Q:
    Quite all right. Even I sometimes make mistakes. 😀

    Gustopher, Jax, and de stijl: Thank you very much.

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  63. de stijl says:

    @The Q:

    You were reacting to what you thought was a direct attack. It wasn’t, but you thought it was.

    You reacted as such. There is absolutely no wrong in that.

    You’re super cool in my book.

    You did not know Q-Anon and reacted as if you were being attacked. Understandable.

    It wasn’t really your bad. You got caught up in a different thing by accident.

    Please be welcome to remain here as a valued commenter.

    I’m sorry this affected you negatively. It was not intended.

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  64. de stijl says:

    @Jax:

    I hope you and yours are doing well. You guys have had to deal with a tough stretch.

    Good thoughts to you.

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  65. Jax says:

    @de stijl: Get to bring my Dad home this week, if we can get the wheelchair ramp and all the handicapped rails up around the bathroom and stuff.

    I am absolutely terrified to see him. I do not know if I can handle my “larger than life” Dad looking like a little old man in a wheelchair. I’ve been holding it together and arranging cowboy crews to get all the cows taken care of on the forest, fencing crews to finish the mountain fencing, a haying crew to put the alfalfa up, and finding a licensed contractor to come outfit their house with a wheelchair ramp and all the things we have to have before they’ll discharge him…..

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  66. Michael Reynolds says:

    The leader of the Republican Party is insisting on actions which will kill a substantial number of his supporters. Those supporters are fine with that.

    The godhead of a cult of personality is insisting on on actions which will kill a substantial number of his supporters. Those supporters are fine with that.

    Additional fact: the core of supporters belong to a primitive iteration of Christianity and have limited education.

    Politics or religion? Partisanship or cult? I propose a test. If the Jacksonville convention has attendance above half of what’s anticipated, it’s more cult than party. That’s the Kool-Aid event. Florida is peaking like crazy. An interior space. Older-than-average group. People refusing to wear masks. If you’re going there you are choosing to risk death. Normally convention attendees only risk gonorrhea.

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  67. de stijl says:

    @Jax:

    You are tough.

    Even if you aren’t totally you can pretend and front as if.

    At night if you need comfort and a buck up we will give it to you.

    Be well.

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  68. de stijl says:

    Trump and team are trying to undercut Fauci. Hardcore.

    Given how the two of them performed comparatively during May press briefings, how many folks are gonna side with the Trump teams’ spin?

    This attempt hurts them electorally. Not a a winning strategy. Hurts more than helps. But it seems they are getting desperate.

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  69. Northerner says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    The truth is that masks are an IQ test.

    With the caveat that until a few days ago the WHO was saying wearing masks made no difference or was even harmful, and I know a few intelligent people who followed their advice (the argument by the WHO was that Covid-19 wasn’t airborne and handling a mask was more likely to pass it on than prevent it).

    I’ve been wearing a mask for shopping for months (when even Canada’s chief physician Dr. Tam was advising against it — she only changed her opinion about a month ago), so arguably wearing a mask is less an indicator of intelligence than common sense (ie if they didn’t work why would doctors wear them?)

    However, people who refuse to wear them in areas where local doctors are saying they should be worn are, as you suggest, idiots.

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  70. Jc says:

    Other interesting note is seeing men at 20% never and women at 8% never. I did not realize wearing a mask was so emaskulating 🙂 Us dudes are so insecure.

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  71. de stijl says:

    @Jc:

    Some guys. Many guys have no prob with sensible public health measures.

    Although it is predominantly a white guy and a Karen issue. Some refuse to comply. For reasons. Perhaps because they are reactionary assholes.

    Is the No shirt, No shoes, No service an anti-hippie thing? If so, 1968 was a long time ago. Who would go into a store sans shirt and shoes?

    The first time I was in Arizona and saw a sign that open gun carry was not allowed in that store I was baffled why it was a thing you had to put up a sign for. People actually do that? I was so confused.

    Now it’s a thing. In many states. It is so odd.

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  72. Unsympathetic says:

    @Gustopher:

    According to QAnon, Trump has it all figured out. So.. yes?

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