Republicans to Trump: Wear a mask

On the issue of masks, however, more than 70 percent of respondents in a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll to be published Wednesday say that when Trump and Pence travel, they should wear face coverings in public places. Concurring with that position are 82 percent of Democrats, 70 percent of independents and 58 percent of Republicans.

Only 12 percent say the president and vice president should not wear masks in public places, and 17 percent say they do not know or have no opinion.

“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,” said Tyler Sinclair, vice president at Morning Consult.

The survey’s results come as masks have morphed into a strange political totem, taking on new ideological meaning for Americans divided over the virtue of personal sacrifice versus the value of individual liberty.

The White House was initially reluctant to endorse the wearing of masks as the disease began to spread across the U.S., with Surgeon General Jerome Adams especially skeptical of their effectiveness.

But in late March, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, revealed the White House coronavirus task force was seriously considering mask-wearing guidance, and by early April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began encouraging the use of cloth masks when outside the home.

Trump, however, acknowledged he would not be following his own administration’s recommendations. “Somehow, sitting in the Oval Office behind that beautiful Resolute Desk — the great Resolute Desk — I think wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens, I don’t know. It somehow — I don’t see it for myself,” he said.

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