Poll: 8-in-10 Americans Believe Masks ‘Necessary’

Protective masks, normally used for surgery, are now in use to fight the Corona Virus SARS-nCov-19.
Mika Baumeister / Unsplash

Eight-in-ten Americans believe “it is necessary” for people to wear masks when leaving their homes during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a Washington Post/University of Maryland poll released this week.

The poll also found that “clear majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents support” measures like wearing masks and social distancing.

But “about a third or more of Republicans say wearing masks, avoiding gatherings with friends and staying home as much as possible are unnecessary,” according to the poll.

“The widespread belief that people should wear masks and restrict their contact with people outside their homes is striking,” said Michael Hanmer, “a professor of government and politics at the University of Maryland who co-directed the survey.” “This stands in stark contrast to the handful of crowds in close spaces that have gained media attention.”

A Morning Consult/Politico poll released this week also found widespread support for masks with more than 70 percent of respondents, including a majority of Republicans, saying that President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence “should wear face coverings in public places.”

Eight-two percent of Democrats, 70 percent of independents and 58 percent of Republicans said Trump and Pence should wear masks in public places while just 12 percent said they should not.

“When it comes to President Trump and Vice President Pence, there is a rare, bipartisan consensus among voters that they should be wearing masks when in public. This issue is sure to remain center-stage as the White House deals with its own outbreak of COVID-19,” Morning Consult’s Vice President Tyler Sinclair said.

The Washington Post/University of Maryland poll was conducted May 5-10 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points. The Politico/Morning Consult poll was conducted May 8-10 and has a margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points.

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