As support for mask-wearing grows, so do political risks for forgoing them

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump makes a point of not wearing a mask. A barefaced Vice President Mike Pence did not utter the m-word at a coronavirus briefing Friday.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, meanwhile, has gone in the other direction. A mask is part of his 2020 signature look.

This divergent accessorizing once highlighted yet another partisan divide. For Trump allies, going barefaced is all about individual liberty. For Biden supporters, the mask is a symbol of science and sound policy.

But as infections spike in red states such as Texas, Florida and Arizona, support for masks has grown. In recent days, even some Republicans have urged the public to cover their faces in public, arguing that it’s the best way to slow the virus. This shift in rhetoric highlights the potential risks for the president as he continues to eschew public health experts, who agree that masks are crucial to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“It does go to character and values,” Democratic pollster Joel Benenson said. “Biden is known for being decent, for caring about the country, a middle-class guy, working with people on the other side. Trump is the antithesis of that. So the more Trump tries to attack Biden over petty smaller things, the smaller it makes Trump look.”

Polling suggests that the majority of Americans favor facial coverings.

Source: Stamford Advocate