With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic still surging in the United States, where we are averaging 50,000 cases daily, wearing a face mask has become even more important. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, has stressed the importance of wearing a mask and is pleading Americans to take notice of the "disturbing" rise in cases. It would be common sense to listen to him, considering we are dealing with a virus that has a mortality rate higher than what we have seen with other viruses.
However, something as simple as covering your face has become a debate.
A recent poll found that 89 percent of Americans, approximately 9 in 10 individuals, wore masks the last time they went outdoors. This number sounds good until you realize that it means one 1 of 10 individuals is refusing to wear a mask, which equates to approximately 32 million Americans. That number doesn't sound so great now.
Politics should have no part in this pandemic, but it has unfortunately become involved.
Democrats were found to be more likely to wear a mask than Republicans (99 percent versus 79 percent). This statistic definitely owes itself to the polarization President Trump has caused in the United States.
Trump referred to media coverage of the virus as a "their new hoax" when it first broke out, pushed unproven information about proposed drug hydroxychloroquine, floated the idea of injecting disinfectant into sick individuals, and continues to tell the American public in his briefings that we have sufficiently "beat" the virus, when we, in fact, have not.
His supporters consume everything he tells them, even though his claims range from wholly incorrect to ridiculous.
We are dealing with a virus. Viruses do not discriminate when infecting individuals. Scientists with months of research and years of education are still unsure of how the coronavirus operates, but Trump supporters believe their leader knows everything about the virus.
Here's the breaking news: he doesn't.
Trump held and is continuing to hold large-scale rallies, where campaign staffers in charge of the rallies test positive for the virus and attendees are not required to wear face masks. Sounds like a giant Petri dish, to me.
You can wave your American flag, wear your Donald Trump merch, and laugh off this virus all you want. The truth is this is bigger than your political affiliation — this is about survival.
If you want to be able to vote for whoever the fuck you support in November, you need to be alive.
Wear a mask.