As more and more states across America are issuing mask-wearing mandates (here's an updated list from CNN) to slow the spread of the coronavirus, data culled by National Geographic shows that when it comes to actually wearing those mandated masks, there are clear divisions when it comes to sex, political affiliation, and even geography.
Using information gathered online between June 24 and 28, 2020, from 2,200 adults in the United States, NatGeo found that 64% of women stated that they "always" wore a mask, compared to 56% of men. However, when it came to "sometimes" wearing a mask, 27% of men responded yes, whereas 23% of women responded yes.
The data got even more granular. Looking at political leanings, 75% of self-identifying Democrats said that they wore masks and 46% of Republicans stated that they wore masks. Democratic women were the largest group to say that they wore a mask, at 78%. 74% of people identifying as liberal said that they wore masks, as well as 64% of people who identified as moderate. NatGeo's data found that conservatives tallied in at 48%.
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Another data set found that responders identifying as white were the lowest percentage of mask-wearers with 58%, compared to Black, Hispanic, and "other" reporting between 67-72%. The most telling set could come from a simple question. When National Geographic asked responders if "things in the country are going in the right direction or they have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track," 64% of people who believed that the country is going on the "wrong track" said that they wore masks.
The data was gathered before President Donald Trump wore a mask for the first time in public during a visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on July 11. The fact that he wore one after being reticent about them could push more people to follow his example.
During a press conference on April 2, when he was asked about why he wasn't wearing a mask, Trump said, "I'm choosing not to do it, but some people want to do it and that's okay." CNN adds that during a May 26 press conference, Trump ridiculed a reporter that was wearing a mask, stating that he was only doing so "to be politically correct." Trump went against his own words when he told reporters over the weekend that masks "have a time and a place" and "I've never been against masks."