About 3 in 4 Americans back requiring wearing coronavirus masks: AP Poll

Three out of four Americans, including a solid majority of Republicans, reportedly back face covering requirements in public, according to the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

The poll reflects fresh alarm over a spike in the numbers of coronavirus cases and deaths.

Support for the preventative measure is overwhelming among Democrats at 89 percent as opposed to 58 percent of Republicans.

“Not wearing a mask, to me, poses a greater risk of spreading the COVID,” Darius Blevins, a 33-year-old Republican-leaning independent from Christiansburg, Virginia, told AP.

In terms of action, 95 percent of Democrats and 75 percent of Republicans said they are wearing face coverings when leaving their house. 

Overall, there is a 16 percent increase in the numbers of Americans who reported wearing masks in July when compared to May.

When it comes to trade-offs between public health and the economy, 72 percent want their community to use restrictions to stem the spread of the virus even at the expense of the economy compared to 27 percent who prioritize reopening the economy.

Health officials have continued pleading with Americans to wear face masks in an effort to help mitigate the spread of the virus, which has claimed 142,755 lives in the US as of July 23.

The data indicates an overall shift in perspective regarding the use of face coverings, which has become a politicized issue for several months following the March outbreak in the US.

What's more, local leaders continue to get more approval for their efforts in handling the pandemic than the Trump administration.

The study also finds that about 6 in 10 Americans disapprove of how President Trump is dealing with health care in general and the coronavirus outbreak specifically.

"As with much of science and health, the issue became extraordinarily politicized [during the pandemic], and I think the president bears a lot of responsibility for that," the chair of Columbia University's Health Policy and Management Department Michael Sparer told Newsweek.

However, the poll was conducted before President Trump showed support earlier this week for face coverings.

On Monday, President Trump shared a photo of himself wearing a face mask, saying it's "patriotic" to cover up when you can’t socially distance.

The tweet, Trump's strongest endorsement yet for face coverings, marks the first time the president has tweeted a picture of himself with a mask.

The president's tweet refers to coronavirus as the “Invisible China Virus” – a controversial name for the disease along with another Trump favorite, the "Kung Flu".

Trump had not worn a face mask in public until his visit to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on July 11.

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