More Republicans come out in favor of mask-wearing

'Everyone should just wear a damn mask,' Marco Rubio argues.

Last Updated:
June 27, 2020 - 12:50pm

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    Multiple Republican politicians this week spoke out in favor of increased mask-wearing throughout the country, further enflaming a debate about the effectiveness of face coverings during the coronavirus pandemic. 

    The efficacy of mask usage to stop the spread of COVID-19 is disputed by scientists, with the evidence "sparse and contested" that they work to prevent transmission of the disease, as one paper put it. 

    Yet more and more public health officials and politicians have come out in favor of mask-wearing, claiming that face coverings are essential to halting the spread of the virus. 

    Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Friday urged Americans to wear masks when they leave their homes. He called it "a way to indicate that you want to protect others," a common argument made by mask proponents in recent weeks.

    "I see various events on television in which people are clearly not wearing masks, not taking it seriously and not doing others a favor," McConnell said at a press conference in his home state of Kentucky. "We need to get past that in order to protect not only ourselves but our friends and colleagues and others until we get to a vaccine."

    Popular estimates suggest a vaccine may not be ready for distribution until early next year at the earliest, though its effectiveness at preventing the disease's spread will not be known until it is tested on a large population. The CDC states that the flu vaccine may work at just 60% effectivity at most, and even then only "during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are well-matched to the flu vaccine."

    Liz Cheney, meanwhile, posted on her Twitter account on Friday a photograph of her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, with a surgical-grade mask on. "Dick Cheney says WEAR A MASK," she wrote, with a hashtag declaring that "real men wear masks."

    And Marco Rubio on Wednesday stated bluntly during a lunch meeting that "everyone should just wear a damn mask."

    Numerous state governors, local authorities and private businesses in recent weeks have instituted various types of mask mandates. The governors of both North Carolina and Washington, for instance, this week unilaterally imposed statewide mask mandates on their respective residents.

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