According to the latest Politico/Morning Consult poll, the majority of Americans believe authorities should jail or fine people who don’t wear face masks to ward off the novel coronavirus.
The poll found that 53 percent of survey participants said they would “strongly support” mandatory mask orders that include jail time or fines for people who don’t comply. 19 percent said they’d “somewhat” support a proposal. 21 percent either opposed or somewhat opposed a mandate.
Most Republicans support the idea too, with 59 percent saying they’d support a mandate. 35 percent of Republicans said they would oppose a mandate.
86 percent of Democrats and 68 percent of Independents agree there should be punishments for those who don’t wear masks. 33 percent of Independents and only nine percent of Democrats said otherwise.
Those who said they “strongly approve” President Donald Trump’s job performance made up the only group saying they disapproved of the measure than approved. 48 percent said they’d oppose mask orders with jail or fines and 46 percent signaled their support. However, 55 percent of those who said they support Trump and 67 percent of those who said they “somewhat approve” of him said they’d support a mandate.
The president has changed his rhetoric on masks in recent days though he still faces criticism for downplaying the severity of the pandemic.
“Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact,” he said during yesterday’s coronavirus briefing, adding that he “will use it gladly, no problem with it.”
“Some areas of country doing very well, others doing less well. It will probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better. I don’t like saying that, but that’s the way it is,” he observed.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.