Trump Supporters Are the Majority of Those Continuing to Defy Wearing Masks


Shahabir Sami

A mask with writing noting ‘Republicans! Please Wear Masks!’ is strung up on Queensbridge Park in Long Island City in Queens, New York. The mask is in an open space for all of the public to see.

Flattening the curve of COVID-19’s spread is a long, grueling process that we all have to endure in order to get through this pandemic. Unfortunately, some Americans are not contributing to the task at hand, causing cases to rise nationwide.

The majority of those who do not wear masks are the tumultuous Trump supporters. By not abiding by protocols recommended by scientific experts, they are undoubtedly jeopardizing the welfare of others. What is the justification for their refusal to wear masks and to practice social distancing? 

Other than ignorant defiance, proponents of the anti-mask movement claim that masks are violations to their freedom. They plead ‘my body, my right’ as justification for their actions. In addition to this, they also deem that mandating masks, which was already enacted within several states, is not a right granted by the Constitution. 

President Trump is largely to blame for his supporters’ misconceptions. Statements such as, “The masks are going to be a voluntary thing,” and “I do wear them when I have to,” only contribute to his supporters’ warped view of the Coronavirus pandemic and the necessary safety procedures that controlling it entails.

If he hadn’t given a platform to conspiracy theorists, we wouldn’t be in this situation,” said Parker Brandenburg 23. “I mean, he is the President. He has massive sway over what people think and what they do. If he hadn’t platformed these ideas, nobody would have heard of them. All I know is if Trump said COVID-19 is dangerous, his supporters would all be wearing masks tomorrow.” By not mandating the use of masks, President Trump is enabling a pernicious debate on this issue, which has led to the refusal to wear masks by many Americans. 

President Trump also rebuked Joe Biden, the President Elect, for his constant mask-wearing in all public spaces. Trump believes that masks only need to be used in crowded places or hospitals. In other instances, however, he claims that masks are unnecessary. However, the CDC, along with Trump’s public health officials, have all stated that masks are required within all public spaces, regardless of whether or not the space is crowded.    

President Trump’s actions are not something to be neglected, either. By conducting various rallies in which tens of thousands of mask-less people attend, the risk of transmission is unquestionably immense. Even after testing positive for COVID-19, Trump decided not to change his opinion on the need for mandating masks. 

Robert Redfield, the current Director of the CDC, says that if every citizen were to practice the wearing of masks, the number of fatalities due to COVID-19 in the U.S. would have been cut in half. This implies that from March of 2020 to the present day, close to 121,000 deaths, on average, could have been prevented if Americans used masks in their everyday lives. At the time of this article’s publication, COVID-19 deaths in the United States are above 242,000.

“It is a moral issue. Sure, if you survive it, which there is certainly no guarantee that you will, look at the massive amount of harm that you would be doing. By not wearing a mask, you can pass it on to many, many other people and infect them, which could kill them or someone they know,” said Brandenburg. Even if someone may possess immunity to COVID-19 and as a result, decides to not use a mask, they are still affecting those around them. The coronavirus is a highly contagious virus whose contagion is suppressed through the use of masks. 

Part of the issue can also be attributed to President Trump supporters’ lack of education on the need to wear masks. A fraction of the people who advocate for the anti-mask movement are simply not aware of the benefits of wearing masks. The plausible reason as to why this is may be due to some Trump supporters only believing conjecture. In other words, they believe Trump’s illogical statements over that of the scientific experts, even though the scientific experts’ statements are backed with fact-based evidence.

 Nevertheless, the usefulness of wearing masks and the practice of social distancing must be perpetually and unequivocally conveyed to the American public, in order for them to understand their responsibilities as citizens. The use of masks is a sign of respect, and intentionally not wearing masks is an inexcusably despicable act. 

As an “indivisible” nation, it is our duty to understand current events and to contribute to the greater good.

The use of masks is a sign of respect and intentionally not wearing masks is an inexcusably despicable act.