Mask-wearing remains controversial in U.S. as COVID-19 death toll exceeds 100,000

Mask-wearing remains controversial in U.S. as COVID-19 death toll exceeds 100,000

Wearing masks remain controversial in the United States even though public health officials have continued to recommend the use of face coverings in public to curb the spread of COVID-19, which has so far killed over 100,000 Americans, Trend reports citing Xinhua.

"There's no stigma attached to wearing a mask. There's no stigma attached to staying six feet apart," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at an event in his home state of Kentucky on Wednesday.

McConnell is the latest Republican leader who waded into the "politically charge issue" that divides Americans who believe in social distancing and mask wearing and those who don't -- a gap that mirrors political and regional attitudes.

On April 3, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made a recommendation that citizens should wear "non-medical, cloth masks" when it is essential to be in public places, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Previously, the CDC had recommended that only those with COVID-19 symptoms wear masks publicly.

Even so, many Americans said they will wear masks only when they have to, such as in grocery stores or to get takeout.

"I don't wear a mask when I am outside just walking and when there's no one within close proximity, but I try to remember to take one with me, so I wear it if I see other people getting close to me," a Washington, D.C.-area resident, who gave her name as Donna, told Xinhua.

Research shows that 73 percent of Democrats are wearing masks to fight coronavirus, while only 59 percent of Republicans are, and people of color are more likely to wear masks than white people, according to a report by The Washington Post on May 15.

There is tension between U.S. state governments and residents, as the White House has given state governors jurisdiction to issue sweeping orders to close economies and require social distancing, to the chagrin of many citizens who bill this as government overreach.

Having been nurtured in a culture that often prioritizes individual rights, many Americans simply feel it's their right to wear a mask or not. Some have become outraged that the states are requiring people to wear masks, rather than asking them to do so. Multiple videos have surfaced of crowds ridiculing people for choosing to wear face coverings.

At a news conference on May 22, North Dakota Republican governor Doug Burgum choked up as he asked residents to "dial up your empathy and your understanding" when they see someone wearing a face mask.

"If someone is wearing a mask, they're not doing it to represent what political party they're in or what candidates they support," Burgum said. "They might be doing it because they've got a 5-year-old child who's been going through cancer treatments. They might have vulnerable adults in their life, who currently have COVID and they're fighting."

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and a member of the White House's coronavirus task force, on Wednesday called for a cautious approach to reopening the country and implored Americans to wear face masks in public.

"I want to protect myself and protect others, and also because I want to make it be a symbol for people to see that that's the kind of thing you should be doing," Fauci told CNN's Jim Sciutto on "Newsroom."

The senior expert said that while wearing a mask is not "100% effective," it is a valuable safeguard and shows "respect for another person."

But many top White House officials, including President Donald Trump, have repeatedly refused to follow such practice.

The White House did not require press and staff to wear masks until some of its staffers tested positive for the coronavirus early this month.

Trump has not worn a mask at White House events and public appearances, most recently during his Memorial Day wreath laying at Arlington National Cemetery.

He shared on Monday a tweet that appeared to make fun of Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, for wearing a mask at a Memorial Day ceremony in Wilmington, Delaware.

Trump is fueling a cultural opposition to wearing masks when "every leading doc in the world is saying we should wear a mask when you're in a crowd," Biden said in an interview with CNN's Dana Bash in Delaware on Tuesday.

Calling Trump's position amounts to "stoking deaths," he said: "Presidents are supposed to lead, not engage in folly and be falsely masculine."

New York Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Thursday that he will sign an executive order allowing private businesses to deny entry to patrons who decline to wear a face covering.

Last month, New Jersey governor Phil Murphy, also a Democrat, ordered most residents to wear face coverings in public spaces and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio mandated masks in the city.

Turkey discloses data on cargo transportation to Azerbaijan in 1H2020
Turkey discloses data on cargo transportation to Azerbaijan in 1H2020
Turkish ruling party: Armenian actions against Azerbaijan not to remain unpunished
Turkish ruling party: Armenian actions against Azerbaijan not to remain unpunished
Intergovernmental Uzbekistan-Turkey agreements come into force
Intergovernmental Uzbekistan-Turkey agreements come into force
Loading Bars
American Airlines preparing to send furlough warnings this week
Hikmat Hajiyev: Armenia’s impunity for aggressive actions encourages it for further military adventures (VIDEO)
Germany, Italy call for quick action on coronavirus crisis
Armenian armed forces fire at Azerbaijani civilian village by using large-caliber howitzer
Azerbaijani Defense Ministry: Armenia’s several military facilities, military equipment destroyed (VİDEO)
Azerbaijani community of Nagorno Karabakh makes appeal on Armenian armed forces’ provocation
OSCE MG co-chairs call on Armenia, Azerbaijan to resume substantive negotiations as soon as possible
Azerbaijani first VP: Our cause is just and God is with us (PHOTO)
GUAM condemns Armenian armed forces’ attacks in direction of Azerbaijan’s Tovuz district
Defense Ministry: Azerbaijani side does not shell civilians, civilian settlements
Bank of Georgia contributes to economically valuable large-scale projects
PwC to carry out audit of Georgian State Audit Office
Russian FM calls on conflict parties for restraint on Armenian-Azerbaijani border
Iran declares amount of investment in Payam Special Economic Zone
Iran intends to increase trade with Qatar
Criminal case filed against Azerbaijani former defense minister
Turkish FM: Armenia must come to reason
OPEC revises up Azerbaijan’s proven natural gas reserves
Total external debt of Georgia up
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale July 14
Turkey discloses data on cargo transportation to Azerbaijan in 1H2020
Armenia flagrantly violates ceasefire in direction of Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan
Volume of exported yarn from Turkmenistan revealed
Azerbaijan announces number of RES agreements signed with foreign companies
Azerbaijan’s crude oil exports down
Iran’s exports via Golestan Province railways up
Iran's Army Ground Force Airborne Unit to receive new missiles
Turkmen chemical plant announces volume of produced sulfuric acid
Bahar Azadi gold coin rises to record price in Iran
EU officials concerned over tensions on Armenian-Azerbaijani border
Export of Georgian natural wines to Azerbaijan declines
Asaka Bank supports confectionery manufacturer of Uzbekistan
Iran's honey export declines to zero
Petrochemical product revenues in Iran may push out oil revenues
Minister talks construction projects as part of 25-year Iran-China agreement
Iran's gross domestic product grows
AZAL deliveres doctors from Cuba to Baku (PHOTO)
IMF welcomes fiscal measures in Georgia's supplementary budget
Azerbaijan confirms 529 new COVID-19 cases
Azerbaijani, Russian FMs hold phone talks on Armenian-Azerbaijani armed escalation
President Ilham Aliyev: Our servicemen have been avenged and we will continue to do so in future
Tehran Stock Exchange index on the rise
Iran’s Chabahar-Zahedan railway to allow big transit of goods
ADB ready to help Uzbekistan to mitigate economic impacts of pandemic
President Ilham Aliyev: Current chaos in Armenia, events reaching critical point prompted them to commit these heinous acts
President Ilham Aliyev: If Azerbaijani positions, Azerbaijani villages are fired upon from territory of Armenia, of course, we will respond and give fitting rebuff
Turkish ruling party: Armenian actions against Azerbaijan not to remain unpunished
No territorial losses due to Armenia’s recent provocation - Azerbaijan's Ministry of Defense
President Ilham Aliyev: Ugly, insidious policy will lead Armenia to abyss
Barclays gets capital boost ahead of potential coronavirus loan losses
Iran continues to implement additional protocols on nuclear deal
Number of enterprises with foreign capital participation shrinks in Uzbekistan
President Ilham Aliyev: Another provocation of Armenia resolutely prevented, adequately rebuffed
French government funds Uzbek project on safe management of medical waste
Second COVID-19 wave could pressure Kazakhstan's payments balance, exchange rate
Passenger traffic may increase between Turkmenistan, Russia
Volume of exports via western ports of Iran's Hormozgan Province grows
Uzbek-Korean JV buys material & technical resources for pumps via tender
Continued structural reforms needed for sustained economic dev't in Kazakhstan
Baku Network Expert Council head: Armenian PM losing control over armed forces
Spain not planning to make masks compulsory at all times
ADB: Georgia’s success in fighting COVID-19 can boost its attractiveness for investors
Alphabet's Google to commit $10 billion to India
Tunisia raises 2020 budget deficit estimate to 7% of GDP from 3%
LNG share in total extra-EU gas imports hit six-year high
Russian Foreign Ministry: We deem unacceptable further escalation on Armenian-Azerbaijani border
Thailand tightens borders over fears of second wave of coronavirus
Georgia appreciates Czech contribution to monitoring COVID-19 in country
Wizz Air Abu Dhabi to operate new flight from Georgia's Kutaisi airport
Deputy PM: Azerbaijani army heroically suppressed Armenia’s provocations in direction of Tovuz
Europe’s gas consumption dragged down by COVID-19
Trade turnover between Turkmenistan, Russia increases several times
Russian expert: Armenian PM makes provocation against Azerbaijan for being unable to cope with crisis in country
Uzbekistan prepares to launch ammonia-carbamide plant jointly with Mitsubishi
Payments on vehicle insurance in Kazakhstan revealed
Iran discloses number of commissioned water and electricity facilities
TAP project contributes to Europe’s clean energy goals
French Airbus presents new digital projects to Uzbekistan
Azerbaijani FM holds telephone conversations with co-chair of OSCE MG and personal representative of OSCE Chairperson-in-office (PHOTO)
Iran to launch its first ICT free zone
Iran gov't cancels terms of upstream oil, gas contracts
TAP can ensure further transport of Caspian gas to wider European markets
Iran to increase production of Sarvestan, Saadatabad oil fields
Latvia to promote sustainable dev't in EU Eastern Partnership, Central Asia countries
ECB calls on Croatia, Bulgaria to do more before joining euro
Iran plans to offer venture capital funds at stock exchange
Kazakhstan boosts containers handling at its seaports
Georgia's Gurjaani ice cream company launching new product
Turkmenistan, Russia preparing new contract for economic co-op
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for July 13
Medical masks production to increase in Iran
Investments in Azerbaijan's fixed capital decline
Kazakh national atomic company's subsidiary to buy paints via tender
Oil prices won’t move like previous time without OPEC+ bullish surprise
Geostat: External merchandise trade declines in Georgia
Iran first time manages to redesign offshore drilling jacket protection system
Azerbaijani oil prices (July 6-10)
Kazakhstan, Romania boost mutual trade
UK trade fair industry warns 30,000 jobs at risk as events yet to resume
Uzbekistan reveals its COVID-related expenses
All news