There are signs that some Republican officials are prepared to support mask wearing and other restrictions to slow the virus’ spread.
Earlier this week, amid soaring infections and a crush of patients that threaten to overwhelm hospitals in his state, Utah’s GOP Gov. Gary Herbert declared a state of emergency and is requiring residents to wear masks in public.
But Trump, who mocked Biden during the campaign for regularly wearing a mask, continues to eschew face coverings at public events and White House gatherings — even after being hospitalized for COVID himself, and as growing numbers of White House staff and guests become sick.
And although surveys show support for wearing masks among Democrats and Republicans, there is substantially more resistance to mask mandates among Republicans in many places. In a recent Texas poll, for example, 81% of Democrats thought there should be a state law requiring masks in public, while just 51% of Republicans felt the same way.