A majority of Americans expect mask mandates, requiring them in public places, to continue to stay in place for at least six months, a Rasmussen Reports survey released Friday showed.
The survey, which asked respondents for their thoughts on the coronavirus vaccine rollout and other public health-related issues, found that 43 percent believe they will be required to wear a mask in public spaces for six months to a year. Nearly one-fifth, or 18 percent, believe it will be required for the next 18 months, followed by 11 percent who believe mask mandates will be around “for the next couple of years.” Overall, 72 percent believe masks will be required in public spaces for at least six months, while 13 percent predict less than six months. Seven percent said they will be required “indefinitely,” and seven percent remain unsure.
A plurality of Republicans, 42 percent, also believes mask mandates will be around for the next six to twelve months, with a majority of Democrats, 51 percent, agreeing with that prediction. Beliefs are more scattered among those who are unaffiliated with either major political party, although a plurality, or 37 percent, also chose six to twelve months.
The survey also revealed that Americans remain relatively confident that the coronavirus vaccine will “contain the pandemic and allow Americans to return to a normal way of life.” Sixty-seven percent said it is either “very” or “somewhat” likely, while 16 percent say “not very likely” and eight percent say “not at all likely.” Nine percent remain unsure.
However, respondents did not sing high praises of their respective states’ vaccine rollouts. Thirty-four percent rated their state’s administration either excellent or good, followed by 30 percent who said “fair.” Slightly over one-quarter rated their state’s vaccine administration poor.
The predictions come as public health experts continue to advise Americans to wear masks in public. Even Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser on the coronavirus, suggested that people should continue to wear face coverings — even double masking — after receiving the vaccine.
He told Fox News cohost Dana Perino last week:
And just to be doubly sure, there are a couple of reasons to wear masks even after vaccination. One, you want to protect other people in case you have virus in your nasal fairings, and if you look in the community, there’s enough virus out there that before we start pulling back on things like public health measures, you want the overwhelming population vaccinated. And as I’ve said, the calculation — even though it’s still an estimate — would be somewhere between 70 and 85 percent of the population.
CNN ran an article this week, urging its audience to get used to the idea of wearing masks in the long run.
“Try to think of a face mask as your new best friend, one that you plan to cherish and appreciate for a good, long time,” CNN pitched.
Rasmussen’s survey, taken February 2-3 among 1,000 U.S. adults, has a margin of error of +/- three percent.