Once Politically Polarizing, Agreement About Masks Now Crossing Party Lines
News outlets report that the emerging GOP embrace of mask-wearing still has an important holdout: President Donald Trump. Meanwhile, reports detail masks' potential to boost the economy and curb the spread of COVID-19. In the background, there is also advice on what masks may be most effective.
Republicans, With Exception Of Trump, Now Push Mask-Wearing
In Republican circles — with the notable exception of the man who leads the party — the debate about masks is over: It’s time to put one on. As a surge of infections hammers the South and West, GOP officials are pushing back against the notion that masks are about politics, as President Donald Trump suggests, and telling Americans they can help save lives. (Madhani and Kellman, 7/1)
Senate Republicans Distance Themselves From Trump On Coronavirus Masks
Senate Republicans have stood by President Donald Trump through controversy after controversy, but the rampant spread of COVID-19 is emerging as a breaking point. With rates of infection skyrocketing in states like Florida, Arizona, Texas and California, lawmakers are hurtling toward the fall elections with the ramifications of the pandemic bearing down just as voters are deciding whom to vote for in November. (Hunt, 6/30)
The Washington Post:
Republican Leaders Now Say Everyone Should Wear A Mask? Even As Trump Refuses And Mocks Those Who Do
The last Republican vice president, Richard B. Cheney, and his Wyoming congresswoman daughter, Liz, say wearing masks is manly. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says there should be no stigma associated with covering one’s face as public health experts advise, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) says doing so is essential to fully reopening the economy. (Rucker and Min Kim, 6/30)
‘It Would Just Set A Good Example’: Trump’s Allies Push Him To Embrace Masks
Republican leaders and right-leaning media on Tuesday promoted the use of protective masks to a degree yet unseen during the coronavirus pandemic — casting them as crucial to facilitating an economic reopening while contending with President Donald Trump’s continued reluctance to cover his face in public. The new line of messaging breaks with a president who has called into question the efficacy of face coverings and contributed to their politicization across American culture. (Forgey, 6/30)
Surgeon General Urges Widespread Mask Use: 'It Is Not A Suppression Of Your Freedom'
Surgeon General Jerome Adams on Tuesday implored Americans, and young Americans in particular, to wear masks as lawmakers and public health officials increasingly seek to break down partisan barriers about the use of face coverings. Adams specifically sought to address arguments among some conservatives that requiring masks is an infringement on personal freedoms and civil liberties, arguing that wearing a mask will actually restore freedoms more quickly amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Samuels, 6/30)
Donald Trump Jr: It's Not 'Too Complicated To Wear A Mask'
Donald Trump Jr. said Tuesday that masks should be worn during the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville, Fla., with the president's eldest son stating the precaution is "not too complicated" to help ensure the event is carried out safely and appropriately." We're still two months out from the convention, so we have a little bit of time to get everything in order," Trump Jr. told Fox Business's Maria Bartiromo on Tuesday morning. "We're going to make sure that everything is done in a safe and appropriate manner." (Concha, 6/30)
In related news —
The Other Face Mask Fight: Are They Our Very Best Defense Against Coronavirus?
Around the country, some people are resisting the advice from public health experts to wear masks. But among researchers in Massachusetts and beyond, there's a different debate underway, about whether masks might in fact be the most effective of all the current defenses against the virus. (Goldberg, 6/30)
Requiring Face Masks Nationwide Could Save US Economy From 5% Hit, Goldman Sachs Predicts
A team of analysts at investment bank Goldman Sachs argued that mandatory face masks nationwide could not only improve health outcomes amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, but could also save the U.S. gross domestic product from a potential 5% hit. A nationwide face coverings mandate coupled with stringent bans on large gatherings "could partially substitute for renewed lockdowns," Goldman Sachs analysts Jan Hatzius, Daan Struyven and Isabella Rosenberg wrote in their report, noting this could salvage large amounts of economic activity that would otherwise be shut down due to pandemic precautions. (Thorbecke, 6/30)
National Mask Mandate Could Work Better Than Lockdowns, New Report Suggests
A national mask mandate could be more effective than lockdowns, and it could save the U.S. from a 5 percent hit to economic growth, according to a new report from the investment giant Goldman Sachs. "Our baseline estimate is that a national mandate could raise the percentage of people who wear masks by 15 percentage points and cut the daily growth rate of confirmed cases by 1 percentage point," Jan Hatzius, Goldman's chief economist, wrote in the note to clients. (Popken, 6/30)
8 Common Coronavirus Mask Styles That Don't Actually Protect Against Coronavirus
Right now, scientists are racing to develop a vaccine to halt the spread of COVID-19, medical teams are working around the clock to save people's lives, and businesses are installing things like thermal scanners at entrances and plexiglass at restaurants to protect customers and employees. But even as some Americans move heaven and earth to keep us safe, many others have let their guard — and their masks — down. (Krieger, 6/30)
The Best DIY Face Mask Material And Fit? Quilting Cotton Beats Bandana, New Study Says
Wearing face masks and coverings is recommended, or in some places mandatory, in public spaces to help stop the spread of Covid-19. But what kind of DIY face covering offers the best protection? Researchers at Florida Atlantic University have experimented with different materials and styles of non-medical masks and found that a well-fitted stitched mask made from two layers of quilting fabric was the most effective in stopping the spread of droplets from emulated coughs and sneezes. (Hunt, 7/1)