Face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States

Last updated

A crowd of subway users in June 2020 following CDC face mask guidelines at Milpitas station in Milpitas, California. BART Milpitas station platform 2 at opening ceremony.jpg
A crowd of subway users in June 2020 following CDC face mask guidelines at Milpitas station in Milpitas, California.

The wearing of non-medical face masks in public to lessen transmission of COVID-19 in the United States was first recommended by the CDC on April 3, 2020 as supplemental to hygiene and appropriate social distancing. Over the course of the pandemic, various states, counties, and municipalities have issued health orders requiring the wearing of non-medical face coverings — such as cloth masks — in spaces and/or businesses accessible to the public, especially when physical distancing is not possible. Some areas only mandated their use by public-facing employees of businesses at first, before extending them to the general public.

Contents

Federal officials initially discouraged the general public from wearing masks for protecting themselves from COVID-19. [1] In early April, federal officials reversed their guidance, saying that the general public should wear masks to lessen transmission by themselves, particularly from asymptomatic carriers. [2] Public health experts such as Larry Gostin stated that federal officials should have recommended mask-wearing sooner; [2] others noted that US government guidance lagged significantly behind mask recommendations in East Asian countries and likely exacerbated the scale of the pandemic in the United States. [3] In September 2020, it was reported that the government had contemplated leveraging the United States Postal Service to distribute free reusable masks nationwide as early as April, but that it had scrapped the plan due to concerns it could "create concern or panic". [4]

Mask mandates have been divisive. Republican-led states were, initially, less likely to impose health orders requiring the wearing of masks than Democratic-led states. Several states, including Arizona, Georgia, and Texas, took actions to block localized health orders requiring masks, but later softened their stances to help control local spikes. [5] Some Americans felt mask mandates to be an infringement of their personal liberties, [6] [7] According to a Pew Research survey conducted in fall 2020, 19% of Republican respondents listed masks as a pandemic-related hardship, 27% of whom were skeptical about masks or the severity of the pandemic, compared with 10% of Democrats, 31% of whom expressed anxieties about the politicization of safety regulations and others who were not taking the pandemic seriously. [8]

Former President Donald Trump largely resisted wearing masks in public media appearances, [9] [10] [11] and did not mandate their use at his rallies and other public campaign events during the 2020 presidential election. [12] [13] After briefly encouraging their use in mid-July, [14] [15] Trump continued to hold campaign events (such as the 2020 Republican National Convention) where masks were not widely used. [16] [17] [18] Trump mocked and ridiculed Joe Biden, his Democratic opponent (and the eventual winner in the election), for wearing face masks in public appearances. [19] [20] [16] Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, and others criticized Trump's refusal, calling it dangerous and irresponsible. [21] [22] [23] A lack of precautions (such as masks) taken during crowded White House ceremonies and receptions by Trump on September 26 were credited with having possibly resulted in a COVID-19 outbreak at the White House, which infected Trump himself.

After Biden was sworn in as president in January 2021, one of his first executive orders mandated stronger enforcement of COVID-19-related health and safety protocols, including masks on federal properties. Biden also issued an executive order mandating the wearing of masks on public transport systems. In April 2021, as the country's vaccination program increased in pace, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance stating that those who were fully vaccinated did not need to wear masks when in small outdoor gatherings. In May 2021, the CDC went further and issued guidance stating that fully vaccinated people did not need to wear masks nor physically distance in public, unless otherwise mandated by local laws or entities. The announcement faced a mixed reception, with critics arguing that this guidance largely relied on an honor system, and may have been premature given the country's progress on vaccination at the time.

Due to rising cases mainly caused by the more transmissible Delta variant, in July 2021, the CDC issued a recommendation that face masks be worn by anyone in an indoor public space if "substantial and high transmission" exists locally, reversing their May 2021 guideline. [24]

Timeline

CDC poster recommending the use of non-medical face masks to slow transmission of COVID-19. CDC- purpose of wearing a face mask during COVID-19 pandemic.jpg
CDC poster recommending the use of non-medical face masks to slow transmission of COVID-19.

2020

Early recommendations

Initially, the U.S. government did not recommend the use of face masks by the general public outside of medical settings to protect themselves from COVID-19, as to prevent shortages of medical-grade personal protective equipment (PPE) for doctors treating COVID-19 patients. [25] [26] In February 2020, Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams stated that proper hygiene and getting a flu vaccine were appropriate preventive actions to be taken by the public, and stated on Twitter that masks should be saved for healthcare professionals, and that they were "NOT effective in preventing [the] general public from catching Coronavirus". [27] CDC director Robert R. Redfield also stated that healthy people did not need to wear masks. [28]

In a March 8 interview with 60 Minutes , Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Anthony Fauci similarly argued that "when you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better and it might even block a droplet, but it's not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is." Fauci again cited the need to conserve supplies of PPE for medical workers and those who were sick. [29]

In late March 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a recommendation that masks be used by those who are sick, or are caring for someone who is sick and not able to wear a mask themselves, and discouraged their use by healthy members of the general public. [25] [1] This guidance was consistent with that of the World Health Organization (WHO) at the time. [1]

Recommendations on using masks to reduce transmission

A public service announcement from the Government of California encouraging people to wear masks to "slow the spread".

In late-March 2020, some government officials began to focus on the wearing of masks to help prevent transmission of COVID-19 as opposed to protecting the wearer; former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb stated in a report that face masks would be "most effective" at slowing its spread if widely used (citing Hong Kong and South Korea as examples), as "they may help prevent people who are asymptomatically infected from transmitting the disease unknowingly". [25]

On March 30, Director of the CDC Robert R. Redfield stated that the organization was evaluating data regarding use of masks by the general public. The next day, President Donald Trump suggested in a White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing that scarves or "something else" could be worn as face coverings. COVID-19 response coordinator Deborah Birx stated that the task force was discussing the addition of face masks to its guidance. [25]

On April 3, 2020, the CDC issued guidance recommending that non-medical face coverings be worn in public when social distancing is difficult to maintain, such as at grocery stores and pharmacies, and especially in areas with significant amounts of community transmission. [30] [31] The CDC published tutorials on making non-medical face masks, including a design only requiring a t-shirt and rubber bands, and no sewing. [1] [25]

When asked by National Public Radio about the April 3 reversal, the CDC cited studies from February and March showing presymptomatic and asymptomatic transmission, and reports from Asian countries regarding the effectiveness of face coverings in this manner. [2] Professor of public health Larry Gostin said that the CDC could have revised its recommendation sooner; by maintaining its initial recommendation throughout March, it had given the public the impression that widespread mask usage was ineffective even though scientific evidence to the contrary was already available. [2] The earlier recommendation damaged the agency's credibility. [32] [33] [34]

In a May 27 interview with CNN, Fauci urged Americans to wear face masks in public as a sign of "respect" for others, and stated that he had been doing so himself "[because] I want to protect myself and protect others, and also because I want to make it be a symbol for people to see that that's the kind of thing you should be doing." [35] [36] On June 5, amid the nationwide protests over the police murder of George Floyd, Fauci warned that people not wearing face masks in crowds may "propagate the further spread of infection". [37]

Downplaying by the Trump administration

Following the change in recommendations by the CDC, President Donald Trump began to publicly downplay the use of face masks; during a media briefing on April 3, he emphasized that the new guidance was voluntary, and that he himself would not follow them. [6] When asked about his stance by a reporter, he explained that "somehow sitting in the Oval Office behind that beautiful Resolute desk, the great Resolute desk, I think, and wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens, [..] I just don't see it for myself." [38] [39]

President Donald Trump touring a Honeywell mask factory in May 2020; Trump did not publicly wear a mask at this media event. President Trump Visits Honeywell International Inc. (49863869247).jpg
President Donald Trump touring a Honeywell mask factory in May 2020; Trump did not publicly wear a mask at this media event.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence avoided being seen wearing face masks during media events, such as an April 28 visit to the Mayo Clinic by Pence, and a visit by Trump to a Honeywell factory producing respirators. [40] [21] After he was criticized for violating Mayo Clinic policies requiring masks to be worn by staff and visitors, Pence explained that he was being regularly tested negative for COVID-19, and that "I thought it'd be a good opportunity for me to be here, to be able to speak to these researchers, these incredible health care personnel, and look them in the eye and say 'thank you'." [41]

On September 17, 2020, the Washington Post published a report on documents from the United States Postal Service obtained by American Oversight under the Freedom of Information Act, which included a draft press release dated April 2020 announcing that it planned to distribute 650 million reusable masks in five-packs to each residential address in the United States (beginning with areas identified as being hot spots at the time, including New York City and parts of Louisiana and Washington). An anonymous senior official told the Post that the proposed program had been scrapped due to "concern from some in the White House Domestic Policy Council and the office of the vice president that households receiving masks might create concern or panic." [4]

When visiting a ventilator factory on April 30, Pence was seen wearing a mask. [6] During a visit to a Ford Motor Company plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan on May 21, Trump wore a cloth mask inscribed with the presidential seal, but took it off before appearing for the media. Trump explained that he did not want to give the press the "pleasure" of seeing him wearing a mask. [9] [10] [11]

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued a warning to Ford for violations of state health orders. [42] In a CNN interview, Nessel called Trump a "petulant child who refuses to follow the rules", and suggesting that he did not respect the safety and welfare of his potential voters enough "just to engage in the very simple task, the painless task, the easy task of wearing a mask when he was provided one." [21] [43] On Twitter, Trump accused Nessel of "taking her anger and stupidity out on Ford Motor", insinuating that "they might get upset with you and leave the state, like so many other companies have — until I came along and brought business back to Michigan." [43]

Trump criticism of Joe Biden

After former vice president and presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wore a black mask and sunglasses during a Memorial Day ceremony (his first major out-of-home appearance in two months), Trump shared a Twitter post by Fox News commentator Brit Hume that ridiculed the outfit, captioned "This might help explain why Trump doesn’t like to wear a mask in public." In an interview the next day, Biden criticized Trump for sharing the post, and for being a bad role model for the American public. He argued that "presidents are supposed to lead, not engage in folly and be falsely masculine." [20] [44] [19] During a subsequent media appearance, Trump described Biden's decision as being "very unusual", as "he was standing outside with his wife, perfect conditions, perfect weather." He added, "I thought that was fine. I wasn't criticizing him at all. Why would I do a thing like that?" [19] After a reporter refused a request by Trump to take off his mask because it had muffled his voice, Trump accused him of "want[ng] to be politically correct." [45]

In a June 2020 interview with The Wall Street Journal , Trump argued that some people were wearing masks to "signal disapproval" of him, [46] and said of Biden's use of masks, "It's like he put a knapsack over his face. He probably likes it that way. He feels good that way because he does. He seems to feel good in a mask, you know, feels better than he does without the mask, which is a strange situation." [47]

In-person campaign events

Trump returned to holding public campaign events for his 2020 re-election campaign in mid-June 2020, beginning with a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 20. Masks were optional, and not worn by the majority of participants, nor was social distancing enforced. [48] [49]

Trump then appeared at a Students for Trump event in Phoenix, Arizona on June 23. Despite the state of Arizona had recently become a major hotspot for new COVID-19 cases, and Phoenix having enacted a health ordinance requiring the wearing of masks in public, Mayor Kate Gallego stated that the city would "[not] be focused on enforcement during the rally." [50] The owners of the megachurch where the event took place announced that it had installed an ionizing air purifier system that could "kill 99.9% of the virus". The claimed efficacy was disputed by the media. [51] Once again, the majority of attendees did not wear masks. [12] [13]

On July 3, Trump also made an appearance at an Independence Day fireworks event at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota (a state that had been known for its laissez-faire approach to the pandemic with few public health orders), where masks were once again optional, and social distancing was explicitly left unenforced. [52] [53]

By contrast, Biden's campaign employed more "drive-in" rallies, and smaller-scale gatherings with social distancing and mask usage. [54] [55]

Brief change in stance

During a Coronavirus Task Force briefing on June 26 amidst major resurgences of cases in California and multiple Southern states, most of the participants wore masks when not at the podium. However, Pence did not wear a mask, nor did he mention the wearing of masks or social distancing when recapping the government's hygiene recommendations. [56] On June 28 in an interview on This Week , House Speaker Nancy Pelosi argued that "the president should be an example. Real men wear masks." [23]

On July 1 in an interview with Fox Business, Trump stated he was "all for masks", but questioned the implementation of a national mandate since they would apply in "places in the country where people stay very long distance." Trump stated he had "no problem" wearing a mask in public if he were "in a group of people where we're not 10 feet away — but usually I'm not in that position and everyone's tested." [38] [57] On July 5, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows stated that a national mandate was "not in order", since they are "[used] on a location basis when you can't have social distancing". [58]

President Trump wearing a face mask during a tour of the Bioprocess Innovation Center in late July 2020 President Trump at the Bioprocess Innovation Center at Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies (50162979107).jpg
President Trump wearing a face mask during a tour of the Bioprocess Innovation Center in late July 2020

A Trump campaign event in New Hampshire originally scheduled on July 11, by contrast, was to be held outdoors, and the wearing of masks was now listed as "strongly encouraged" (although the event would later be postponed, with the White House citing Tropical Storm Fay as justification). [59] [60] On July 11, Trump publicly wore a mask for the first time when visiting members of the military at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. [61] Prior to the event, Trump told Sean Hannity that "it's fine to wear a mask out if it makes you feel comfortable", and later commented that hospitals were a location where one is generally expected to wear a mask under these conditions. [62] [63]

On July 14, First Lady Melania posted a photo of herself wearing a mask on social media, urging her followers to follow CDC guidance since "the more precaution we take now can mean a healthier & safer country in the Fall." [64] In a CBS News interview the same day, Trump stated that "if it's necessary, I would urge [Americans] to wear a mask and I would say follow the guidelines." [65]

In an interview with Fox News Sunday that aired July 19, Trump told Chris Wallace that he was a "believer" in masks, but that he did not intend to enact a federal mandate (leaving it to state governors) because "I want people to have a certain freedom". He also disagreed with CDC Director Redfield's suggestion that the use of masks nationwide could bring the U.S. epidemic under control within weeks, and accused federal health officials of having been inconsistent with their guidance on masks over the course of the pandemic. [14] [15]

On July 20, Trump posted a photo of himself in a mask on Twitter, captioned "We are United in our effort to defeat the Invisible China Virus, and many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance. There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President!" [66] The next day during a press briefing, Trump again encouraged the wearing of masks by Americans, stating "whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact." [67] It was reported that Trump's advisers had recommended this shift in order to re-gain public approval for his handling of the pandemic. [68]

Continued downplaying by the Trump administration

During the 2020 Republican National Convention, speeches were held on the South Lawn of the White House. A crowd of 1,500 invited guests were present for Trump's acceptance speech on the final night, who did not wear masks or practice social distancing. When questioned by CNN about the crowd, an official argued that "everybody is going to catch this thing eventually." [17] [18] Although Washington D.C. health orders at the time prohibited gatherings of more than 50 people, this does not extend to federal property. [69] At a campaign rally on September 3 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, Trump continued to mock Biden for wearing masks during campaign appearances — suggesting that it gave him a "feeling of security", but that "If I were a psychiatrist, I'd say this guy has some big issues." He asked the audience, "did you ever see a man that likes a mask as much as him?' [70] [71]

On September 21, 2020, William Crews, a public affairs official at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), stepped down from his position after The Daily Beast published a report that identified him as a pseudonymous managing editor of the conservative website RedState . He had authored several posts promoting COVID-19 disinformation and criticizing masks, which argued they were a "political statement", and referred to Anthony Fauci as a "mask nazi". [72]

White House outbreak and aftermath

Trump speaking at the White House Rose Garden on September 26, 2020 to announce Amy Coney Barrett as a Supreme Court nominee. President Trump Nominates Judge Amy Coney Barrett for Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (50397097478).jpg
Trump speaking at the White House Rose Garden on September 26, 2020 to announce Amy Coney Barrett as a Supreme Court nominee.

On September 26, 2020, Trump held an outdoor ceremony at the White House Rose Garden to announce Amy Coney Barrett as his nomination to fill a vacancy in the Supreme Court, left by Ruth Bader Ginsburg following her death on September 18. It was observed that social distancing was not practiced, and a large number of the 150 participants (including several senior officials) did not wear masks. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar was an exception, but was then seen taking off his mask and physically interacting with others as he left. The HHS stated that Azar and the people he interacted with had all tested negative prior to the event. [73] [74] Two indoor receptions were also held. [75]

Despite a spokesperson stating that all attendees in proximity to Trump had been tested before the event, guests from Barrett's alma mater Notre Dame (who were seated in the front row) reported that they were not, and stated that they were not told by the White House that tests were a prerequisite. [73] [74] Furthermore, the White House stated that attendees did not need to wear masks if they had tested negative. [75]

On September 30, Trump's senior counselor Hope Hicks (who had traveled with Trump) [76] tested positive for COVID-19, but the case was not publicized until an interview with Trump on Fox News's Hannity the next evening. [77] [78] During the interview, Trump stated that he and Melania had just been tested. Several hours later, Trump announced on Twitter that he and Melania had both tested positive. [79] [80]

By October 2, at least seven attendees of the ceremony had tested positive, also including senators Mike Lee and Thom Tilli, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, former White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, University of Notre Dame president John I. Jenkins (who had apologized after the event for his failure to wear a mask), and an unnamed journalist. [81] [82] This resulted in scrutiny of the ceremony as a superspreader event by the media and local officials, due to the lack of precautions generally taken by its participants. Infectious disease physician Robert L. Murphy argued that if the ceremony was responsible for the White House outbreak, general use of masks and social distancing could have prevented it. [83] [84] [85] [69]

Presidential debates and town halls

At the first presidential debate on September 29, First Lady Melania and other members of Trump's family were seen taking off masks after seating themselves in the audience—violating health protocols specified by the Cleveland Clinic that had been agreed upon by both parties, calling for masks to be worn at the debate by all attendees (excluding the two candidates and the moderator when on-stage). [86] During the debate, Trump once again mocked Biden for his use of face masks, stating "I don't wear a mask like him. Every time you see him, he's got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from them, and he shows up with the biggest mask I've ever seen." [87] Debate moderator Chris Wallace later stated that Trump and his personnel were not tested prior to the debate in Cleveland since they arrived late, and that they were admitted under "an honor system". [88]

In an October 2020 town hall held by NBC News, President Trump incorrectly claimed a CDC study found that 85% of people who wore masks had still contracted COVID-19. The data originated from a "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report" published by the CDC, which contained a survey on behaviors exhibited by COVID patients and a control group of those who tested negative: While around 70% of both groups surveyed did say they always wore a mask, the COVID-positive patients were more likely to have engaged in close contact and activities "where mask use and social distancing are difficult to maintain" within the 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms, such as visiting a bar or restaurant. Misinformation related to this report has also been promoted by social network posts and Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson. [89] [90] [91]

During a rally on October 29, Trump made remarks to the crowd promoting mask use when social distancing is not possible; "If you get close, wear a mask. 'Oh, it's controversial.' It's not controversial to me." [92]

2021

Transition to the Biden administration

A social media post by the Biden administration, promoting executive orders on COVID-19 protocols for federal properties. Mask Mandate IG image for Biden Administration - 2021-01-20.jpg
A social media post by the Biden administration, promoting executive orders on COVID-19 protocols for federal properties.

On January 20, 2021, in one of his first actions as president following his inauguration, [93] Joe Biden signed Executive Order 13991, which compels the heads of executive departments and agencies to "immediately take action, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, to require compliance with CDC guidelines with respect to wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, and other public health measures" by visitors and employees of federal land and properties, and commands the Secretary of Health and Human Services to "engage" with political leaders and community members to "[maximize] public compliance with, and addressing any obstacles to, mask-wearing and other public health best practices identified by CDC". [94] [95]

The next day, Biden signed another executive order, compelling the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and other federal agencies to require the wearing of face masks on all forms of public transportation, including planes, trains, buses, ships, and airports. [96] On April 30, the TSA extended this order through September 13. [97]

Issuance of guidance for vaccinated individuals

On April 27, 2021, Biden and the CDC announced amended guidance on masks, stating that those who are fully vaccinated (14 days after the second dose of a twin-dose vaccine, or 14 days after receiving a single-dose vaccine) did not need to wear a mask during small outdoor gatherings, but that they should still be worn at large outdoor gatherings (such as concerts and sporting events) where large numbers of unvaccinated people may be present, and that vaccinated people should still avoid large indoor gatherings. [98] [99]

On May 11, Rochelle Walensky — the CDC's new director under the Biden administration [100] — appeared before the Senate Committee on Health. Amid questioning by Republican senators such as Maine's Susan Collins, Walensky defended the CDC's current guidance on topics such as masks, stating that the public must "maintain public health measures we know will prevent the spread of this virus" as long as community transmission exists. Unbeknownst to the panel, the CDC was already finalizing new guidance, which would be publicly announced two days later. [101] [102]

CDC drops mask recommendations for the fully-vaccinated

On May 13, 2021, the CDC announced new guidance, stating that those who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear a mask or practice social distancing, unless otherwise required by health orders or private entities (such as on all public transportation, and where mandates still exist). In a briefing discussing the change, Biden emphasized that the country still had to work towards its goal of having 70% of its adult population receive at least one vaccine dose by Independence Day, but felt that those who have been fully vaccinated had "earned the right to do something that Americans are known for all around the world — greeting others with a smile." He also asked Americans to respect the decisions of those who may still wear masks as a personal decision; "We have had too much conflict, too much bitterness, too much anger, too much politicization of this issue about wearing masks. Let's put it to rest." [103]

The White House and other federal departments began to implement the new guidance for their staff over the days that followed. [104] [103] [105] The abruptness of the announcement caught many state and local health officials, as well as some federal employees, off-guard. [102] [101] Citing the new guidance, many states allowed their mask mandates to expire, [106] while Costco and Walmart also announced that, where allowed, they would exempt vaccinated individuals from their corporate mask mandates. [107]

The new guidance faced criticism for being premature and largely relying on an honor system, as it would be difficult to determine whether someone is fully vaccinated without documentation, only around 36% of Americans had been fully vaccinated at that point, and loosening guidance on masks would encourage complacency by those who are against masks and/or vaccines (who could falsely claim that they were vaccinated). [108] [109] [101] The federal government had ruled out implementing a national framework for immunity passports due to human rights and privacy concerns, while multiple states have prohibited them outright. [110] [111] [112]

In an interview with Fox News Sunday, Walensky denied that the CDC had bowed to political pressure to loosen restrictions, and stated that the new guidance was based on evolving science and newly-obtained data, including studies on the real-world effectiveness of the vaccines in the U.S., and another study showing a reduction in viral load among patients that had still contracted COVID-19 after being vaccinated. [101] [102] Others felt that the announcement was an attempt by the Biden administration to distract from the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack and the Israel–Palestine conflict. [101] A White House spokesperson stated that the decision had been made solely by the CDC, as part of its current mandate under the Biden administration to operate "based on the science and data, free from political influence". [101]

On May 20, amid an increasing number of states lifting their mask mandates entirely due to the guidance, Fauci told Axios that he thought many Americans were misinterpreting the guidance, stating that "[the CDC] said: If you are vaccinated, you can feel safe — that you will not get infected either outdoors or indoors. It did not explicitly say that unvaccinated people should abandon their masks." [113]

Reinstatement of mask recommendations and mandates

On June 30, 2021, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LADPH) reintroduced a strong recommendation that all residents wear face masks within indoor public spaces, even if they are vaccinated. The recommendation came only 15 days after California had lifted its remaining public health orders and mask mandate; officials stated that the recommendation was issued due to increasing spread of the highly-contagious Delta variant in the region, and due to the Department investigating reports of breakthrough infections in Israel that involved Delta variant. [114]

On July 15, LADPH announced that it would reintroduce a mask mandate effective at midnight on July 18. This applies to all indoor public spaces in Los Angeles County, even if vaccinated. County health officer Muntu Davis stated that "we’re not where we need to be for the millions at risk of infection here in Los Angeles County, and waiting to do something will be too late given what we're seeing now." [115]

On July 25, Fauci stated in an interview that the U.S. was heading in the "wrong direction" due to Delta variant and low vaccination numbers in parts of the country, and that the CDC was "actively considering" revising its guidance. [116] [106] By July 26, several other areas had also reintroduced mask mandates regardless of vaccination, including Provincetown, Massachusetts, Savannah, Georgia, St. Louis County, Missouri, and Clark County, Nevada for all public-facing employees of businesses. [106]

The next day, citing Delta variant and the possibility that it can be spread easily even by those who are vaccinated, the CDC issued new guidance recommending that in regions where there is "substantial and high transmission" of COVID-19, face masks should be worn within indoor public spaces even if vaccinated. The CDC also recommended that masks be mandated at schools for all students and faculty, again regardless of vaccination status (for those approved to receive them). Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated that "we are dealing with a much different strain of this virus than we were even earlier in the spring, back in May, when the masking guidance was provided by the CDC at that time." [117] [118]

Federal policy

Calls for federal policies

The United States Department of Health and Human Services organized a program known as "Project: America Strong", to fund the distribution of reusable masks to "critical infrastructure sectors, companies, healthcare facilities, and faith-based and community organizations." [4]

There were calls for a mask mandate to be implemented nationwide at the federal level: the Retail Industry Leaders Association criticized the patchwork of differing regulations (or lack thereof) between regions, and argued that "despite compliance from the majority of Americans, retailers are alarmed with the instances of hostility and violence front-line employees are experiencing by a vocal minority of customers who are under the misguided impression that wearing a mask is a violation of their civil liberties." [119] Goldman Sachs projected that such a mandate "could potentially substitute for lockdowns that would otherwise subtract nearly 5% from GDP." [120] The Public Health Service Act grants the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services authority to implement regulations to "prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases" into U.S. states or possessions, but it is unclear whether this could be used to implement a general mask mandate. [121]

On June 28, House Speaker Pelosi stated that such a mandate was "long overdue", but that the CDC did not issue one as to not "offend the president." [23] On July 1, Trump questioned the appropriateness of a national mandate since they would apply in "places in the country where people stay very long distance." [38] [57] On July 5, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows stated that a national mandate was "not in order", arguing that masks were "[used] on a location basis when you can't have social distancing". [58] On July 12, Surgeon General Adams similarly argued that "if we are going to have a mask mandate we need to understand that works best at the local and state level along with education", and questioned if a national order could be reasonably enforced without "having a situation where you're giving people one more reason to arrest a black man." [122]

On July 12, Surgeon General Adams stated that health officials were trying to "correct" their previous messaging, explaining that it was based on an earlier presumption that those who were asymptomatic were less likely to transmit COVID-19. He explained that Americans needed "to understand we follow the science and when we learn more our recommendations change, but it is hard when people are continuing to talk about things from three, four months ago"; [122] a clip of the aforementioned 60 Minutes interview with Fauci (where he was quoted as saying "There's no reason to be walking around with a mask") had often been presented on social media by opponents of face masks as misinformation in support of their arguments. Fauci's statements were consistent with the CDC's guidance at the time, but did not align with current guidance. [29]

On July 14, the House Committee on Appropriations adopted an amendment to its Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies funding bill for fiscal year 2021, which would include a mandate for passengers and employees of air travel, Amtrak, and "large transit agencies" to wear masks. The bill is scheduled to be voted on by the House of Representatives later in the month. [123] [124] The same day, the CDC published a study indicating that the use of masks by two employees of a Missouri hair salon who showed COVID-19 symptoms and later tested positive, as well as the 139 clients they served before their positive tests, "was likely a contributing factor" in preventing their clients from contracting COVID-19 from the employees. [125] [126] The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) also published an interview with CDC Director Redfield, where he estimated that the epidemic in the U.S. could be brought under control within four to eight weeks "if we could get everybody to wear a mask right now". [127] [128]

On July 15, Senator Dianne Feinstein proposed that economic stimulus funding be withheld from states that do not adopt a health order requiring the wearing of masks in public. [129] In a July 19 interview with Fox News Sunday, President Trump stated that he did not intend to enact a federal mask mandate, citing the preservation of personal freedoms. [14]

On July 30, Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative of California Ro Khanna introduced the Masks for All Act, a proposed bill that would invoke the Defense Production Act to produce "high-quality", reusable face masks for nationwide distribution at no charge (via mail distribution and public pickup locations), with a goal to give three masks each to every individual in the country, and a particular focus on serving the homeless and people who live in communal environments. The total cost of the bill was estimated to be $5 billion, with Khanna noting that "If we can afford a $740 billion defense budget, we can afford to send every American a face mask. And if we’re asking folks to wear a mask, which is absolutely essential, it’s on us to provide one." [130] On July 31, Peter DeFazio and Rick Larsen introduced the Healthy Flights Act, which would authorize the FAA to mandate the wearing of face masks at airports and while on flights. [131]

During an August 2020 campaign appearance, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden proposed a national mask mandate of at least three months as part of his platform, explaining that it could "save over 40,000 lives [...] if people act responsibly", and that "it's not about your rights, it's about your responsibilities as an American." [132] On September 16, Biden stated that he believed the president had the legal authority to mandate masks nationwide via an executive order. [133] However, during a CNN town hall the next day, Biden stated that he could not mandate masks nationwide, but could do so for federal property, and that he would urge governors to follow suit at the state level. [134] [135]

On September 16, Redfield testified to the Senate Appropriations Committee that masks were the country's "most powerful public health tool", as they had "clear scientific evidence" that they worked. He explained that "This face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine, because the immunogenicity may be 70%, and if I don’t get an immune response, the vaccine's not going to protect me. This face mask will." [136]

Action by the Biden administration

President Joe Biden signs executive orders in a face mask President Joe Biden signs H.R. 335.jpg
President Joe Biden signs executive orders in a face mask

On January 20, 2021, Biden signed an executive order requiring executive departments and agencies to enforce compliance with COVID-19-related guidance issued by the CDC, such as the wearing of face masks by the visitors and staff of federal land. [94] [95]

On January 21, 2021, Biden signed another executive order mandating masks be worn in compliance with CDC recommendations on all forms of public transportation, including planes, trains, buses, ships, and airports. [96]

Supply

The provision and shipment of PPE to other countries such as China contributed to an early shortage of masks and other supplies in the United States, and was criticized by Democratic officials. Forbes.com senior contributor David DiSalvo reported that on March 30 "roughly 280 million masks from warehouses around the U.S. had been purchased by foreign buyers and were earmarked to leave the country". [137] The next day, Vice President Mike Pence suspended the export of protective supplies from the stockpiles of the USAID program in order to investigate. The Trump administration denied that the exported stock came from the national stockpile, and stated that it had come from private donations. [137] [138]

On April 2, Trump announced that he would invoke the Defense Production Act to compel 3M, General Electric, and Medtronic to increase their production of N95 respirators. [139] [140] By September 2020, N95 respirators were still in short supply. Even though 3M had increased domestic production from 20 million to 95 million respirators a month, they said "the demand is more than we, and the entire industry, can supply for the foreseeable future." Health care workers continued to express fears of shortages. [141] [142]

Small U.S.-based manufacturers who invested in manufacturing infrastructure and successfully navigated a nine-month federal approval process reported in February 2021 that they were unable to find buyers for the tens of millions of masks they had produced. The advertising of these masks has been banned on platforms like Google and Facebook and medical supply distributors, hospital systems and state governments, the main purchasers of masks, are wary of locally manufactured masks, which are more expensive than the ones produced in China. Testifying before Congress about the need to support domestic mask manufacturers, one industry executive called the dependence on foreign manufacture "a national security problem". [143]

By February 2021, suppliers had increased production of medical masks, and some manufacturers reported a surplus. 3M and Honeywell had increased their production of N95 respirators to around 120 million each month, but the health sector is estimated to need around 3.5 billion masks each year, and the limited production is directly sent to the medical distributors that supply large hospital systems. [143] Overall shortages were still reported because some hospitals expected healthcare workers to reuse their masks, even as they were building up stockpiles in anticipation of future need. Hospital purchasers were poorly connected with new suppliers, hesitant to buy from new manufacturers, or resistant to pay higher prices for domestic products. [144] Counterfeits also continued to pose problems for purchasers. [145]

N95 manufacturers and other companies were reluctant to invest more in domestic mask production because domestic manufacture in the United States is not profitable. There are some American companies who can shift production temporarily to meet the demand for masks but most of them have not received any funding through the DPA. Some have taken the initiative but experienced problems with the fit of the masks and obtaining regulatory approvals. 3M and other N95 manufacturers have not entered into any corporate partnerships to share intellectual property or increase N95 production. [141]

Theft

Thefts of face masks and other personal protective equipment were reported at hospitals in the United States. [146]

The Naval Medical Center San Diego implemented random bag checks for staff members, after several incidents of theft. [147] Thefts of N95 masks were reported from a locked hospital office in South Carolina and off loading docks at the University of Washington. [148] A hospital employee in Cooperstown, New York was charged with misdemeanor larceny for a similar incident. [149]

Counterfeit masks

The third-party market was still inundated with a deluge of counterfeit masks in February 2021, one year into the pandemic. Federal agents seized over 10 million fake 3M-branded masks in early 2021. Some were purchased by hospitals even though the masks did not come from authorized distributors. [150] The masks are sold at higher prices than the authentic 3M masks, which retail at around $1.27 each. [151] 3M filed multiple lawsuits against unauthorized sellers for endangering the lives of medical workers. The company issued a statement to say "This is not a problem that is going away". [152]

Attitudes

A member of the Rhode Island National Guard sewing handmade face masks. Rhode Island National Guard.jpg
A member of the Rhode Island National Guard sewing handmade face masks.

Protection of others

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the public wearing of face masks to protect others from the spread of infectious disease was not a widely accepted phenomenon in the United States, and had historically been more prevalent in East Asian countries. [153] [154]

Political views

The issue of whether or not to wear a mask in public became, for some, a dividing line in the culture war between the supporters and opponents of President Trump. [155] [156] Politico described progressives as considering masks "a sign that you take the pandemic seriously and are willing to make a personal sacrifice to save lives". [6] Supporters of the CDC's recommendations derided what they described as their opponents' ignorance, selfishness, antiscience stance, and lack of respect for fellow citizens. [157]

A Tyrannosaurus rex sculpture outside Boston's Museum Of Science wearing a face mask and a Band-Aid indicating a COVID-19 vaccine has been administered. Tyrannosaurus rex sculpture with mask and band-aid.jpg
A Tyrannosaurus rex sculpture outside Boston’s Museum Of Science wearing a face mask and a Band-Aid indicating a COVID-19 vaccine has been administered.

Masks were cited as a means of controlling COVID-19 without the need to reimpose stay-at-home orders and business closures (which would cause further economic strain). [158] [159] Opponents have invoked conspiracy theories in an attempt to discredit proponents, and have accused proponents of violating their freedoms and of inhibiting development of herd immunity. [160] [161] The wearing of face masks has also been seen by opponents as virtue signaling for liberal values, [162] [163] [164] and as a symbol of intimidation, social control, and opposition towards President Trump. [165]

While these health orders usually have exceptions for those with medical conditions (such as breathing problems) or disabilities that would make it difficult to wear a mask, false flyers distributed via social media encouraged people to claim to businesses requiring masks that they have a medical condition protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act, but that under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), they are not required to disclose the medical condition. The HIPAA is a data protection law for the health care industry, and does not actually apply in this manner. [166] [167]

Opposing views against masks have also been promoted by conservative media outlets such as Fox News, and radio host Rush Limbaugh — who argued that masks were a "required symbol on the left to promote fear, to promote indecision, to promote the notion that we’re nowhere near out of this". [168] [169] Initially in March 2020, Fox News pundits Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham endorsed the wearing of masks, with Carlson explaining that they were "key" to controlling COVID-19 in East Asian countries, while also criticizing the CDC for initially discouraging their use by the general public. After the practice became politicized, however, both pundits began to display opposition to masks on-air: in May 2020, Carlson criticized Fauci for his fluctuating guidance on masks, and claimed that there was no scientific basis for a mask mandate issued in Los Angeles (referring to its residents as being "hostages" of Mayor Eric Garcetti). [170] [165] [171] Some Fox News pundits however, including Sean Hannity and Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy, have been more receptive to masks on-air. [168]

The Washington Post reported that in an April 2020 poll, 79% of self-identified Democrats and 59% of Republicans stated that they had worn a mask or other face covering in public. Those who knew someone who had been infected with COVID-19 were 40% more likely to wear a mask in public than those who didn't. [172] A Gallup poll the same month found that 75% of Democrats and 48% of Republicans had worn a mask outside in the past week. [173] In a June 2020 survey by Politico and Morning Consult, 60% of those who said they supported the wearing of masks also stated that their opinion of the Trump administration was "very favorable". [174]

In late-June 2020, amidst a major surge in cases in multiple states (especially in the Sun Belt), support towards masks abruptly emerged among prominent Senate and House Republicans, in an effort to counter resistance towards the practice from President Trump. [156] [175] In a June 28 interview on Face the Nation , Pence recommended that Americans follow the advice of local health officials in regards to wearing masks, as "every state has a unique situation." [176] [177] Other prominent Republicans also began to abruptly support masks and urge Trump to be a role model for his supporters, including chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Lamar Alexander and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell. Alexander commented that "this simple lifesaving practice has become part of a political debate that says: If you're for Trump, you don't wear a mask. If you're against Trump, you do", and argued that Trump could "help end this political debate". [156] [175]

A Politico survey in July 2020 found that there was now bipartisan majority support for mask mandates, with 72% of those surveyed saying that they strongly or somewhat supported state-wide mask mandates that that are punishable by fines or jail, with 53% expressing strong support. This included 86% of self-identified Democrats surveyed, 58% of self-identified Republicans surveyed, and 68% of self-identified independents surveyed. [178]

During a rally on September 21, 2020, an attempt by Ohio Lieutenant Governor Jon A. Husted to promote Trump 2020 and Make America Great Again-branded face masks as campaign merchandise (as part of a stated goal to "[try] to make masks in America great again") to the crowd was met with boos, to which he remarked that they had "made [their] point". [16]

Opposition to the practice of wearing face masks, and to orders mandating face mask use, has led to historical comparisons with the Anti-Mask League of San Francisco that was active during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918–19. [179] [180]

Among minorities

Protesters of the killing of George Floyd wearing masks; one is inscribed with the text "#BLACKLIVESMATTER". Protesters along and around 38th Street in Minneapolis on Tuesday after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, 11.jpg
Protesters of the killing of George Floyd wearing masks; one is inscribed with the text "#BLACKLIVESMATTER".

Concerns surrounding the politicization of masks have been especially prominent among minority communities, such as African and Asian Americans. Concerns were raised by African Americans that the wearing of masks may encourage racial profiling due to their association with their use by criminals to conceal identity, such as an officer shown handcuffing a black doctor wearing a mask steps from his home, and a police officer in Illinois following two black men wearing surgical masks as they exited a Walmart, and falsely claiming that the city prohibited the wearing of masks. [181] [182] There have also been incidents of bullying, discrimination, and ethnic violence and insults against Asian Americans who wear masks, as part of ongoing anti-Asian sentiment tied to the pandemic due to its Mainland Chinese origin. [183] [184]

The April 2020 poll found that 32% of Hispanic and Latino Americans surveyed, and 30% of African Americans surveyed, were concerned that wearing a mask would cause them to be mistaken for a criminal, as opposed to 19% each of Asian Americans and whites. [172] Despite this, larger proportions of people among minority communities said they had worn a mask in public than whites (66%), at 71% of Hispanic and Latino Americans surveyed, 74% of African Americans surveyed, and 82% of Asian Americans surveyed. [172]

In late-May and early-June 2020, masks printed with slogans related to the Black Lives Matter and police reform movements (such as "I can't breathe") attracted popularity amidst nationwide protests over the police killing of George Floyd. In June 2020, the United States Postal Inspection Service temporarily seized a shipment of face masks with the slogan "STOP KILLING BLACK PEOPLE", ordered by the Movement for Black Lives for distribution to those attending demonstrations in Minneapolis, New York City, St. Louis, and Washington D.C.. The Service stated that there "were indications that they contained non-mailable matter." [185]

Citing these concerns over racial profiling, Lincoln County, Oregon (whose population is 95% white) initially announced that it would provide an exemption for people of color from the county's mask mandate. However, following criticism, the county backtracked on June 24. Officials stated that "The expressions of racism regarding the exception has created a ripple of fear throughout our communities of color. The very policy meant to protect them, is now making them a target for further discrimination and harassment." [186]

Confrontations over mask requirements

There were incidents of violent confrontations and assaults over disagreements about the masking policies of states and private businesses. Numerous reports were made of retail patrons assaulting employees at retail store's over disagreements about the store's masking policies. [187] [188] A man was arrested in October 2020 for threatening to kidnap and murder the mayor of Wichita, Kansas over the city's mask mandate. [189]

By September 2020, over 170 transit workers in New York City had reported being assaulted or harassed for asking passengers to wear face masks, including a 62-year-old man who was knocked unconscious on his route through East New York, Brooklyn, [190] prompting officials to implement a $50 fine for riders who refused to wear a face mask. [191]

There were also instances of assault against persons who refused to comply with masking policies. In Key Largo, a bus driver was arrested for swinging a metal rod at a passenger who lowered his mask to make a call on his cell phone. [192]

Appearance of vulnerability

Refusal to wear a mask in public may be driven by a fear of being seen as vulnerable and fearful of COVID-19. [193] [194] In a May 2020 survey of 2,459 Americans conducted by Valerio Capraro of Middlesex University London and Hélène Barcelo of the Mathematical Science Research Institute, it was found that men surveyed were more likely to display negative stigmas towards wearing masks in public, including being more likely to agree that it was "uncool", "shameful", and a "sign of weakness". Capraro noted that these stigmas were more prevalent among residents of areas that had mandated the wearing of face masks. [195]

Reporting on the study, Ben Boskovich of Esquire wrote that "the phrase toxic masculinity gets thrown around a lot, sometimes more than necessary, if we're being honest. But this thing, this reality, that men are too blinded by their own inherent privilege to acknowledge their vulnerabilities, to admit they're wrong, to let go of the steering wheel, is as real as the president's hats are red.". [196]

Attempts to incentivize usage

Before eventually mandating them across all properties nationwide, and Nevada announced its state-wide order, Caesars Entertainment attempted a promotion at its casinos in Las Vegas, where rewards members could win $20 credits if spotted wearing a mask on the casino floor. [197] [198]

Mask use and policies by state

Woman in Ohio wearing a neck gaiter as a protective face covering. Hudson Explorers vs Bishop Watterson field hockey 2020-10-03 DSC 4956 (50412871168).jpg
Woman in Ohio wearing a neck gaiter as a protective face covering.
High school field hockey players in Ohio with and without masks. Hudson vs Laurel playoffs 2020-10-21 DSC 0185 (50515189057) (cropped).jpg
High school field hockey players in Ohio with and without masks.

By mid-November 2020, 37 states had some sort of health order requiring the wearing of face masks or a similar non-medical face covering when in public spaces or specific types of establishments. [199] [200] [201] Absent a state-level mandate, some municipalities and counties have instituted their own mandates via localized by-laws. [202] [203] [204]

These orders usually have exceptions for younger children, as well as those with medical conditions (such as breathing problems) or disabilities that would make it difficult to wear a mask. [166] [167] [205] They are also usually considered an exception to prohibitions on the wearing of masks in public for the purpose of identity concealment, such as general anti-mask laws, and restrictions on wearing masks while carrying a concealed firearm. [206] [207] [208] [209]

Some states, such as Louisiana, Oregon, and Washington, at first only mandated the wearing of masks by the public-facing employees of businesses, [210] [211] [212] before mandating they be used by the general public as well. [213] [214] [215]

Enforcement and challenges

Violations of mandatory mask orders have often classified as a misdemeanor offence, with some states threatening fines for individuals who do not comply. Some states expressly require businesses to enforce mask mandates, with failure to do so also punishable by fines, and in some cases, being ordered to temporarily close, or have their business license revoked. [199] [200] [205] [216] [217]

Whether these mandates are actually enforced may vary; some sheriffs in California, Nevada, North Carolina, and Washington state pledged that they would not enforce the orders; one such sheriff in Lewis County, Washington announced to a crowd outside a church, "don't be a sheep". [218] [219] [220] By contrast, Governor of California Gavin Newsom threatened to withhold COVID-19 relief funding from counties that do not sufficiently enforce state health orders, including its mask mandate. [221] [222] In late-June 2020, Governor of South Carolina Henry McMaster argued that the inability to effectively enforce such an order influenced his decision to not implement an order at that time, stating that "there's no power on Earth that can follow everyone in the state around to be sure that they are following the rules." [223] However, on July 29, McMaster reversed his prior stance and issued a state-wide mandate, as part of an order taking affect August 3 that also allowed more businesses to resume operations. [224]

On October 2, the Michigan Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Governor Gretchen Whitmer had violated the state Emergency Management Act of 1976 by redeclaring a state of emergency to bypass the Republican-controlled Legislature after it declined to renew it. In a split decision, they ruled that the Emergency Powers of Governor Act of 1945 was unconstitutional because it violated the nondelegation doctrine. [225] Governor Whitmer has argued that the decision was still subject to a 21-day reconsideration period, during which the orders still stand, and later accused the Court of undermining her efforts to control the pandemic. On October 4, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel stated that she would stop enforcing COVID-19-related executive orders. [226] [227] On October 12, the Court denied a notion requested by Governor Whitmer for a transition period, thereby voiding all executive orders issued pursuant to the claimed state of emergency. [228] [229] The state Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) had already begun to issue its own orders to supplant Whitmer's voided orders, under powers that give its director the authority to "establish procedures" and restrict gatherings during an epidemic. [228] [229] [230] In turn, the MDHHS was sued by a chiropractor (one which had faced warnings from local officials for defying the mask mandate), claiming it did not have the authority to mandate masks. [231]

In Wisconsin, Governor Tony Evers similarly re-declared a public health emergency (which is similarly limited to 60 days without legislative approval) to extend its mask mandate beyond its original period (which began August 1). It was challenged in a state court by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, who requested a temporary injunction. Judge Michael Waterman ruled in favor of Governor Evers, stating that "the 60-day limit provides an important check against run-away executive power, but it does not prevent the governor from issuing a new executive order when the emergency conditions continue to exist." [232]

Political stances

A mask compliance officer at a baseball park in Florida. Mask compliance officer.jpg
A mask compliance officer at a baseball park in Florida.

Opponents of mask mandates have sometimes argued that they are unconstitutional; the American Bar Association cited that there was precedent under the Tenth Amendment (which states that any powers not granted to the federal government via the Constitution are reserved to states) that state governments "have the primary authority to control the spread of dangerous diseases within their jurisdictions." [233] [234] [235] Jacobson v. Massachusetts has also been cited as case law supporting mask orders; it found that the use of police power by states to enforce health orders designed to maintain the safety of their communities (such as, in this case, mandatory vaccinations for smallpox), did not violate individual liberties under the Fourteenth Amendment. [236] [237]

In June 2020, The Hill noted that Democratic-led and coastal states had been more likely to have implemented or considered such mandates over Republican-led states (especially in the conservative South)—which have cited desires to preserve individual liberties, and, in some cases, also took steps to overrule local health orders that are stricter than those imposed by the state (including mask mandates). [47] [238] Not all Republican-led states refused to do so, however, with noted early examples including Maryland and Massachusetts. [47] Following a major spike in mid-June attributed to the rushed lifting of mitigations around the Memorial Day weekend, Arizona and Texas began to backpedal on their outright prohibition of local orders on the wearing of masks, [47] [239] [240] and Governor of Texas Greg Abbott then issued a state-wide mandate on July 2. [241]

On July 15, Governor of Georgia Brian Kemp signed an executive order to prohibit any county or municipality from enacting or enforcing a health order requiring the wearing of masks in public spaces. [238] He also filed a lawsuit against Mayor of Atlanta Keisha Lance Bottoms and her city council over a local health order requiring masks, and voluntarily rolling back to "Phase 1" guidelines (discouraging dine-in restaurants), asserting that she "does not have the legal authority to modify, change or ignore Governor Kemp's executive orders." [242] [243] [244] On August 13, however, Kemp dropped the lawsuit, [245] and announced the next day that localized mask mandates would be allowed if certain "health metrics" and other guidelines are met, and requiring business owners to consent if the mandate is to apply to businesses. [246]

In Kansas, a July 2020 mask mandate by Democratic governor Laura Kelly included the ability for counties to opt out if they (per consultation with health officials) assert that it is not medically necessary; the provision was described as a "bipartisan compromise" to gain support from the state's Republican-majority government. [247] By July 9, 90 of Kansas's 105 counties had opted out, [248] [249] while several cities in counties that did opt out, such as Manhattan, Wichita, and Winfield, would enact municipal mandates. [250] [247] Out of a sample of counties, 15 counties that chose to enforce the order were shown to have a reduced rate of new cases than those which opted out. [251] Research released in October 2020 by the University of Kansas found that these trends had continued in the, by then, 21 counties that implemented the order. [252] The mayor of Dodge City, Kansas resigned from office in December 2020 after facing violent threats over her support of a local mask mandate. [253] [254]

Governor of South Dakota Kristi Noem has discredited studies and research that support the use of face masks, claiming that they have produced "very mixed" outcomes, and arguing that "the science has not proven what's effective and what isn't and what type of mask. We have to stay objective when we look at it". [255] [256]

On March 10, 2021, Texas lifted its mask mandate and capacity restrictions, in a move that was considered premature by critics and other politicians following its announcement. The lifting of the mandate also includes a prohibition on enforcing mask mandates; on the day the orders took effect, the Texas Attorney General threatened to sue the city of Austin, Texas for intending to continue its mask mandate. [257] [258] [259] The number of new cases and hospitalizations in Texas had already begun to decline in the weeks following the announcement, with an UNT Health Science Center professor believing that residents continuing to follow health guidance, as well as vaccination progress and immunity, may have also been factors. [260]

At the start of the new school year in August 2021, political conflicts over mask mandates in schools intensified in Florida and Texas, whose governors had both issued executive orders explicitly prohibiting schools and school boards from implementing mask mandates. This is despite recommendations by the CDC that masks be worn in schools due to the threat of Delta variant, as no current vaccine is approved for children under 12. [261] Governor DeSantis warned that the state would withhold funding from schools and school boards that chose to mandate masks, and also threatened to withhold the wages from school officials responsible for implementing mask mandates. [262] A number of districts in both states announced that they would defy the orders and still mandate masks. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona sent letters to Governor Abbott and Governor DeSantis, expressing concern that their decisions to prohibit voluntary compliance with CDC recommendations "may infringe upon a school district's authority to adopt policies to protect students and educators as they develop their safe return to in-person instruction plans required by Federal law. [263]

Legal challenges against school mask mandates in Texas had gone both ways, which led to confusion over their legality. [264] [265] Paris Independent School District attempted to bypass the Texas executive order by declaring its mask mandate to officially be an amendment to the dress code for students and faculty. [266] On August 19, the Supreme Court of Texas temporarily denied a request by Governor Abbott to block a lower court ruling that had upheld school mask mandates. [267]

Summary of orders and recommendations issued by states

  No state-wide mandate. No local mandates exist. (3)
  No state-wide mandate. Local mandates may still exist. (7)
  A former state-wide mandate has since expired. No local mandates exist. (2)
  A former state-wide mandate has since expired. Local mandates may still exist. (30)
  State mandates the wearing of face coverings, but vaccinated are exempt in some states. (8)
StateMask mandateNotes
Start dateEnd date
Alabama July 16, 2020April 9, 2021Alabama's mask mandate expired. [268] [269] The cities of Birmingham (as of April 28) [204] [270] [271] and Montgomery (as of June 17, public gatherings of 25 people or more) [272] have ordinances mandating wearing of masks in public spaces.
Alaska N/AN/AAlaska never had a statewide mask mandate. [273]
Arizona N/AN/AArizona never had a statewide mask mandate. [274] Until June 17, individual counties and municipalities were prohibited from imposing health orders stricter than those of the state itself, effectively blocking local mandates. On June 17, amidst a major spike in new cases, Governor Doug Ducey announced that he would allow them to enact mandatory masking orders. [239] [240]
Arkansas July 20, 2020March 30, 2021Arkansas' mask mandate expired. [275] [276] On July 19, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson called for national leaders to set an example by wearing masks. [277]
California June 18, 2020Ongoing
  • On November 17, 2020, the mandate was expanded to outdoors when social distancing is not possible. [278]
  • Prior to the state-wide mandate, most counties in the San Francisco Bay Area, [279] and Los Angeles County enacted similar requirements. [280] [200]
  • Orange County's health officer Nichole Quick resigned from her position after receiving death threats from disgruntled residents over a mandatory masking law. [281] The state-wide mandate was enacted soon afterwards. [278]
  • Vaccinated people are exempt from mask wearing since June 15, 2021, [282] [283] and in workplaces since June 17, 2021. [284]
  • The mask mandate remains for several settings, such as public transit, regardless of vaccination status. Also, some counties prohibit vaccine-based exemptions. [285]
Colorado July 17, 2020May 14, 2021Colorado's mask mandate expired. [286] [287]

Various municipalities have health orders requiring masks to be worn in public, including Denver and Boulder. [288] [289]

Connecticut April 20, 2020May 19, 2021Masks remain required at hospitals and schools. [290] [291]
Delaware May 1, 2020May 21, 2021Delaware's mask mandate expired. [292]
Florida N/AN/AFlorida never had a statewide mask mandate. As of September 25, 2020, an executive order issued by Governor Ron DeSantis prohibits cities and counties from enforcing mask mandates with fines or penalties. [293]
Georgia N/AN/AGeorgia never had a statewide mask mandate. [294] On July 15, 2020 Governor Brian Kemp prohibited and voided all mask mandates issued by cities and counties via executive order. [238] On August 14, Kemp withdrew this restriction and announced that he would sign an order to allow localized mask mandates if specific criteria are met. [246]
Hawaii April 17, 2020OngoingRequired for patrons of essential businesses. [295]
Mayor of Honolulu Kirk Caldwell says it would be "incumbent on the public to comply" with requests from businesses regarding mask wearing. [295]
Idaho N/AN/AIdaho never had a statewide mask mandate. [296]
Illinois April 23, 2020OngoingRequired in public if not fully vaccinated. [297] [298]
Indiana July 27, 2020April 7, 2021Indiana's mask mandate expired. [299]
Iowa November 17, 2020February 7, 2021Iowa's mask mandate expired. [300]
On September 1, 2020, the city council of Ames issued a mask mandate after the New York Times labeled it as a hotspot. [301] In addition, cities such as Des Moines, Iowa City, Dubuque, Mount Vernon, Cedar Rapids, and Muscatine have issued mask mandates. [302] On September 9, Cedar Falls issued a mask mandate after Iowa reported 478 cases in the past 24 hours. [303]
Kansas July 3, 2020April 1, 2021Kansas' mask mandate expired. [304] [214] [247] [305]

Douglas County, Wyandotte County, and Kansas City announced their own mask mandates prior to the state order. [306] On July 20, Kelly announced that teachers and students will be required to wear masks when schools reopen. [307]

Kentucky July 10, 2020June 11, 2021Kentucky's mask mandate expired. [308] Initially applied to public-facing employees. [206]
Louisiana July 13, 2020OngoingLouisiana's first mask mandate expired on April 28, 2021, but a second one was imposed on August 2, 2021. [215] [309]
At least five cities and parishes as of July 8 (including New Orleans) had mandates for wearing masks in public prior to the state-wide mandate. [310]
Maine April 30, 2020May 24, 2021Maine's mask mandate expired. [311]
Maryland April 15, 2020May 15, 2021Maryland's mask mandate expired. Required for patrons and employees at many businesses. [312]
On July 22, Baltimore mandated masks in public spaces when social distancing is not possible. [313]
Massachusetts May 6, 2020May 29, 2021Massachusetts's mask mandate expired. [314]
Michigan April 24, 2020June 22, 2021Michigan's mask mandate expired.
Minnesota July 25, 2020May 14, 2021Minnesota's mask mandate expired. [315] [316]
Minneapolis and Saint Paul both implemented ordinances requiring the wearing of face coverings by patrons of public spaces and businesses. [317]
Mississippi August 4, 2020October 1, 2020Mississippi's mask mandate expired. [318]
Previously required state-wide in public settings and businesses: [319] [320]
  • Initially applied in seven counties from May 12, 2020. [320] On May 28, the order was extended through June 18, but with four counties dropped due to reduced transmission, and Wayne County added. [321] [322]
  • A new order covering 13 additional counties took effect on July 13, 2020. [323]
  • Order expanded state-wide on August 4, 2020, [324] expired on October 1, 2020. [318]
  • The state maintained local mask mandates until March 3, 2021, when all mandates were lifted. [325]
Missouri N/AN/AMissouri never had a state-wide mask mandate. [326]
Montana July 15, 2020February 12, 2021Montana's mask mandate expired. Newly elected Governor Greg Gianforte has rescinded the mandate issued by then-governor Steve Bullock on February 12, 2021. [327]
Nebraska N/AN/ANebraska never had a state-wide mask mandate. [328]
In June 2020, Governor Pete Ricketts warned that the state would withhold CARES Act funding from counties that mandate the wearing of masks at government facilities. [328] [47]
Nevada June 26, 2020OngoingRequired in public spaces. [329] [330] As of May 4, 2021 in alignment with CDC guidance, fully-vaccinated people are not required to wear face masks in outdoor public spaces, but indoor mandates remain in force. [331]
New Hampshire November 20, 2020April 16, 2021New Hampshire's mask mandate expired. [299] [332]

A local mask mandate in Nashua remains effective "until further notice." The original mandate was passed on May 22, 2020. [333]

New Jersey April 10, 2020May 28, 2021New Jersey's mask mandate expired. [334]
  • Required in enclosed public spaces and outdoor public spaces when social distancing is not possible, since July 8. [335]
New Mexico May 16, 2020OngoingRequired in public when social distancing is not possible. [336]
New York April 15, 2020OngoingRequired in public on public transport and when social distancing is not possible.
On May 15, Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio stated that the NYPD would no longer enforce the order except in cases that pose "serious danger." [337]
North Carolina June 26, 2020May 14, 2021North Carolina's mask mandate expired. [338]
North Dakota November 13, 2020January 18, 2021North Dakota's mask mandate expired. [339] [340] [341]

On May 23, 2020, Governor Doug Burgum urged residents to stop shaming people who do wear masks, nor consider it an ideological or political issue. He explained that people may need to wear a mask "because they've got a 5-year-old child who's been going through cancer treatments. They might have vulnerable adults in their life who currently have COVID, and they're fighting." [342] [343]

Ohio July 23, 2020June 2, 2021Ohio's mask mandate expired. Required state-wide in enclosed public spaces and when social distancing is not possible, or when using public transport, taxis, or ride sharing services. [344] The order was expanded from an earlier order that began July 8, applying to any county at level 3 on the state's advisory system. As of November 11, businesses must refuse entry to customers who do not comply or businesses may face fines or closure. [345]
On April 27, Governor Mike DeWine announced an order to require face masks be worn in retail stores, only to repeal the order the next day due to public resistance. [346] On July 19, DeWine said that he wouldn't rule out making a statewide mandate and hinted that more orders are coming. [347]
Oklahoma N/AN/AOklahoma never had a statewide mask mandate. [348]
On May 1, the mayor of Stillwater repealed a local ordinance announced the previous day, citing that "store employees have been threatened with physical violence and showered with verbal abuse". [348] [349]
Oregon July 1, 2020June 30, 2021Oregon's mask mandate expired. [214]
  • Expanded to public spaces where social distancing is not possible, since July 13. [350]
Pennsylvania July 1, 2020June 28, 2021Pennsylvania's mask mandate expired. On April 15, 2020 the Secretary of Health signed an order requiring employees and customers of operating businesses to wear masks. [351]

Required in public spaces. [214]

Rhode Island May 8, 2020July 6, 2021Rhode Island's mask mandate expired. [352]
South Carolina August 1, 2020May 12, 2021On June 26, Governor Henry McMaster strongly encouraged the wearing of masks in public places, but ruled out a state-wide mandate since it would be too difficult to enforce. [223] A month later, he would introduce one as part of a larger phase of reopenings, requiring that they be worn at cinemas and performing arts venues, government buildings, arenas and stadiums, and during gatherings such as festivals and events, among others. [224] [353]

On May 12, 2021, McMaster issued an executive order ending and prohibiting all mask mandates, as well as prohibiting "vaccine passports". He argued that "we must move past the time of governments dictating when and where South Carolinians are required to wear a mask." [354]

South Dakota N/AN/ASouth Dakota never had a state-wide mask mandate. [355]
Brookings became the first city in South Dakota to issue a mask mandate following a city council meeting on September 9, 2020. [356]
Tennessee N/AN/ATennessee never had a state-wide mask mandate. [357]

Governor Bill Lee has ruled out a state-wide mandate, but has allowed individual cities and counties to implement mask mandates, provided that they do not restrict their use at places of worship or outdoors when social distancing is possible. A number of counties, including the city of Nashville, have enacted mandates. [358] [359] [360] [361]

Texas July 5, 2020March 10, 2021Texas's mask mandate expired. Governor Greg Abbott issued pronouncements and orders to prevent counties from instituting orders to fine individuals for not wearing masks in public. [362] [47]

However, by mid-June 2020, Abbott had begun easing his stance, and began to allow by-laws requiring the wearing of masks by patrons and employees of businesses (considering it no different to stores requiring customers to wear shirts and shoes). [47] [363] [364]
On July 2, 2020, Abbott mandated masks in any county with at least 20 confirmed cases. [365] The mandate expired on March 10, 2021. [259]

Utah November 9, 2020April 10, 2021Utah's mask mandate expired. [366]
  • Required for public-facing employees since May 2. [367] [368]
  • Have been required at schools since the start of the 2020—21 semester. [368]

On July 10, 2020, the Utah Area Presidency of the LDS Church issued a statement endorsing the wearing of masks in public spaces, asking its members to "join with us now in common purpose for the blessing and benefit of all." [369]
Salt Lake City has a mask mandate that will remain in effect through at least December 31, 2020. [370]

Vermont August 1, 2020June 15, 2021Vermont's mask mandate expired. [371]
On April 27, Governor Phil Scott stated that there were no plans to introduce a formal mandate, citing voluntary compliance with CDC recommendations by residents. [367] Scott would later announce a mandate on July 24 as a precautionary measure, citing concerns about rising cases in other parts of the country (as the state has the lowest number of cases per-capita nationwide). [371]
Virginia May 30, 2020May 15, 2021Virginia's mask mandate expired. [372]
Washington June 8, 2020OngoingRequired in any indoor public spaces state-wide and outside when social distancing is not possible.
  • Required for public-facing employees since June 8. [210]
  • Since June 26, violation of the mask mandate is punishable by a misdemeanor, $1000 fine, and 90 days in jail. [213]
  • Since July 7, businesses are legally required to deny service to any patron who does not wear a mask, punishable by fines, misdemeanor, and business closure. This order has applied in Yakima County since June 26. [213] [217]
  • On May 11, King County (which includes the Seattle metropolitan area) enacted a directive recommending that residents wear face coverings in public settings when appropriate social distancing is not possible. This directive is "strongly required" but is not being enforced as law. [373]
  • In July 2020, Freedom Foundation filed a lawsuit challenging the state's mask requirement. [374]
West Virginia July 6, 2020June 20, 2021West Virginia's mask mandate expired. [375]
Wisconsin August 1, 2020April 1, 2021Wisconsin's mask mandate expired. [376]
Wyoming December 9, 2020March 16, 2021Wyoming's mask mandate expired. [377] [378]

See also

Related Research Articles

Tate Reeves 65th Governor of Mississippi

Jonathon Tate Reeves is an American politician from Mississippi. A Republican, he has been governor of Mississippi since 2020. Reeves was previously state treasurer (2004–2012) and lieutenant governor (2012–2020).

Kim Reynolds 43rd Governor of Iowa

Kimberly Kay Reynolds is an American politician serving as the 43rd and current Governor of Iowa since 2017. She is a member of the Republican Party.

COVID-19 pandemic in the United States Ongoing COVID-19 viral pandemic in the United States

The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States is part of the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019. Since January 2020, 44,683,014 confirmed cases have been reported with 719,525 deaths, the most of any country, and the twentieth-highest per capita worldwide. As many infections have gone undetected, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that, as of May 2021, there could be a total 120.2 million infections in the United States, or more than a third of the total population. COVID-19 is the deadliest pandemic in U.S. history; it was the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2020, behind heart disease and cancer. From 2019 to 2020, U.S. life expectancy dropped by 3 years for Hispanic Americans, 2.9 years for African Americans, and 1.2 years for white Americans. These effects have persisted as U.S. deaths due to COVID-19 in 2021 exceeded those in 2020.

COVID-19 pandemic in Florida COVID-19 pandemic in Florida, United States

On March 1, 2020, the U.S. state of Florida officially reported its first two COVID-19 cases, in Manatee and Hillsborough counties. In response, Governor Ron DeSantis then declared a public health emergency. There is evidence, however, that community spread of COVID-19 began in Florida much earlier, perhaps as early as the first week of January, with as many as 171 people in Florida who had shown symptoms now identified with COVID-19, prior to receiving confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By March 11, the CDC saw evidence to conclude that community spread of the virus had occurred within the state. On April 1, 2020, Governor DeSantis issued an executive order to restrict activities within the state to those deemed as essential services.

COVID-19 pandemic in North Carolina Ongoing COVID-19 viral pandemic in North Carolina, United States

The COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed to have reached the U.S. state of North Carolina on March 3, 2020.

COVID-19 pandemic in Pennsylvania Ongoing COVID-19 viral pandemic in Pennsylvania, United States

The COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed to have reached the U.S. state of Pennsylvania in March 2020. As of October 7, 2021, the Pennsylvania Department of Health has confirmed 1,464,264 cumulative cases and 29,814 deaths in the state. As of September 1, 2021, Pennsylvania has administered 6,238,812 partial vaccinations, and 5,983,128 full vaccinations.

COVID-19 pandemic in South Dakota Ongoing COVID-19 viral pandemic in South Dakota, United States

The COVID-19 pandemic in South Dakota is an ongoing viral pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a novel infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The state of South Dakota reported its first four cases and one death from COVID-19 on March 10, 2020. On June 15, 2021 South Dakota public health authorities reported 25 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's cumulative total to 124,377 cases. The state's COVID-19 death toll is 2,026, with no new deaths reported over the previous 24 hours. The state ranks 9th in deaths per capita among U.S. states, and 3rd in cases per-capita, behind only North Dakota and Rhode Island.

COVID-19 pandemic in Tennessee Ongoing COVID-19 viral pandemic in Tennessee, United States

The COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed to have reached the U.S. state of Tennessee on March 5, 2020. As of March 1, 2021, there are 775,693 confirmed cases, 11,421 deaths, 750,755 recoveries, and 6,789,970 reported tests.

COVID-19 pandemic in Utah Ongoing COVID-19 viral pandemic in Utah, United States

The COVID-19 pandemic began in the U.S. state of Utah in early March 2020 with travel-related cases. Residents stockpiled goods, large conferences were made remote-only, postponed, or cancelled; a state of emergency was declared, and some public universities and other colleges switched to online-only classes. After the first case of community spread was found on March 14, Utah faced a shortage of testing kits, and public schools were ordered to be closed. Community spread was confirmed in more counties, and the state issued a public health order prohibiting dine-in service in restaurants and gatherings of more than 10 people except in grocery stores. A 5.7-magnitude earthquake struck the Wasatch Front on March 18, hampering the pandemic response.

White House Coronavirus Task Force United States Department of State task force to mitigate COVID-19

The White House Coronavirus Task Force was the United States Department of State task force during the Trump administration that "coordinate[d] and overs[aw] the administration's efforts to monitor, prevent, contain, and mitigate the spread" of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Also referred to as the President's Coronavirus Task Force, it was established on January 29, 2020, with Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar as chair. On February 26, 2020, U.S. vice president Mike Pence was named to chair the task force, and Deborah Birx was named the response coordinator.

Face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic Health control procedure against COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, face masks, such as surgical masks and cloth masks, have been employed as a public and personal health control measure against the spread of SARS-CoV-2. In both community and healthcare settings, their use is intended as source control to limit transmission of the virus and personal protection to prevent infection. Their function for source control is emphasized in community settings.

Trump administration communication during the COVID-19 pandemic Aspect of 2020 viral outbreak

The Donald Trump administration communicated in various ways during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, including via social media, interviews, and press conferences with the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Opinion polling conducted in mid-April 2020 indicated that less than half of Americans trusted health information provided by Trump and that they were more inclined to trust local government officials, state government officials, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci.

U.S. federal government response to the COVID-19 pandemic Actions by the U.S. federal government regarding the COVID-19 pandemic

The federal government of the United States initially responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country with various declarations of emergency, some of which led to travel and entry restrictions, and the formation of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. As the pandemic progressed in the U.S. and throughout the rest of the world, the U.S. government began issuing recommendations regarding the response by state and local governments, as well as social distancing measures and workplace hazard controls. State governments play a primary role in adopting policies to address the pandemic. Following the closure of most businesses throughout a number of U.S. states, President Donald Trump announced the mobilization of the National Guard in the most affected areas.

Executive Order 13991 Executive order signed by U.S. President Joe Biden

Executive Order 13991, officially titled Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing, is an executive order signed by U.S. President Joe Biden on January 20, 2021. The order commands federal agencies and properties to require that mitigations to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), be employed and enforced by the employees and visitors of federal land and properties, including social distancing and the wearing of face masks.

COVID-19 vaccination in the United States Plan to immunize against COVID-19

The COVID-19 vaccination campaign in the United States is an ongoing mass immunization campaign for the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first granted emergency use authorization to the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine on December 10, 2020; mass vaccinations began on December 14, 2020. The Moderna vaccine was granted emergency use authorization on December 17, 2020, and the Janssen vaccine was granted emergency use authorization on February 27, 2021. By April 19, 2021, all U.S. states had opened vaccine eligibility to residents aged 16 and over. On May 10, 2021, the FDA approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for adolescents aged 12 to 15. On August 23, 2021, the FDA granted full approval to the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine for individuals aged 16 and over.

California government response to the COVID-19 pandemic Actions by the California state government regarding the COVID-19 pandemic

The government of California initially responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in the state with a statewide lockdown, the first of its kind during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. As the pandemic progressed in California and throughout the rest of the country, the California government, following recommendations issued by the U.S. government regarding state and local government responses, began imposing social distancing measures and workplace hazard controls.

United States responses to the COVID-19 pandemic Actions by the United States regarding the COVID-19 pandemic

The United States' response to the COVID-19 pandemic with consists of various measures by the medical community; the federal, state, and local governments; the military; and the private sector. The public response has been highly polarized, with partisan divides being observed and a number of concurrent protests and unrest complicating the response.

Texas government response to the COVID-19 pandemic Actions by the Texas state government regarding the COVID-19 pandemic

The government of Texas's initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the state consisted of a decentralized system that was mostly reliant on local policies. As the pandemic progressed in Texas and throughout the rest of the country, the Texas government closed down several businesses and parks, and it eventually imposed a statewide stay-at-home order in late May. Then, between May and June 2020, the state government initiated a phased reopening, which was viewed as controversial. The reopening was phased back in June and July 2020 following a new surge of COVID-19 cases in the state. In March 2021, as COVID-19 vaccines began to be administered throughout the U.S., the Texas government reopened the state again.

COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the United States Reluctance by those living in the USA to be vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine

COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the United States is the sociocultural phenomenon of individuals refusing or displaying hesitance towards receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the United States can be considered as part of the broader history of vaccine hesitancy.

COVID-19 vaccination mandates in the United States Mandates for people to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S.

COVID-19 vaccine mandates have been enacted by numerous states and municipalities in the United States, and also by private entities. In September 2021, President Joe Biden announced that the federal government would take steps to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for certain entities under the authority of the federal government or federal agencies.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Yan, Holly (June 25, 2020). "Why face mask guidance has changed so much -- and how wearing masks can protect the economy". CNN. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Jingnan, Huo (April 10, 2020). "Why There Are So Many Different Guidelines For Face Masks For The Public". NPR . Retrieved May 23, 2020.
  3. Pike, Lili (May 29, 2020). "Why 15 US states suddenly made masks mandatory". Vox.
  4. 1 2 3 Romm, Tony; Bogage, Jacob; Sun, Lena H. "Newly revealed USPS documents show an agency struggling to manage Trump, Amazon and the pandemic". Washington Post. ISSN   0190-8286 . Retrieved September 17, 2020.
  5. Weiner, Rachel (July 10, 2020). "Republican governors who opposed mask mandates start to soften". Washington Post. Retrieved July 12, 2020.
  6. 1 2 3 4 "Wearing a mask is for smug liberals. Refusing to is for reckless Republicans". Politico. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  7. and attitudes have varied along the political spectrum. Samuels, Alex (May 22, 2020). "For some, forgoing masks in public during the coronavirus pandemic has become a political statement". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
  8. "Both Republicans and Democrats cite masks as a negative effect of COVID-19, but for very different reasons".
  9. 1 2 "Trump Briefly Dons Face Mask At Ford Plant, Away From Media View". NPR.org. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
  10. 1 2 "Trump wears mask with presidential seal during part of Ford plant tour". NBC News. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
  11. 1 2 "Trump Goes Without Mask For Public Tour of Michigan Factory, Says He 'Didn't Want to Give the Press the Pleasure' of Seeing Him Wearing One". Time. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  12. 1 2 Boehm, Jessica. "Trump barely mentions COVID-19 to crowd of mostly unmasked supporters in Phoenix". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  13. 1 2 "In Arizona, Trump has a redo of his Oklahoma rally". Politico. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  14. 1 2 3 Robertson, Nicky. "Trump doesn't think US needs a national mask mandate". CNN. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  15. 1 2 O'Reilly, Andrew (July 19, 2020). "Trump says he's 'a believer in masks,' but stops short of national mandate in coronavirus fight". Fox News. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  16. 1 2 3 LeBlanc, Paul. "Trump mocks Biden for wearing mask: 'Did you ever see a man that likes a mask as much as him?'". CNN. Retrieved September 5, 2020.
  17. 1 2 "Trump leans into his '180,000 deaths is a statistic' reelection strategy". Washington Post. August 31, 2020. Retrieved September 1, 2020.
  18. 1 2 Restuccia, Andrew (August 28, 2020). "Trump's White House Rally: Takeaways From the RNC's Final Night". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  19. 1 2 3 Samuels, Brett (May 26, 2020). "Trump calls it 'unusual' that Biden wore mask to Memorial Day event". TheHill. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  20. 1 2 "Trump on Twitter mocks Biden for wearing a mask in public". CBS News. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  21. 1 2 3 Veronica Stracqualursi; Paul LeBlanc. "Michigan attorney general warns Ford over letting Trump go maskless". CNN. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  22. "COVID-19 death toll keeps rising — and the media should hold Trump accountable". Salon. June 23, 2020. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  23. 1 2 3 Coleman, Justine (June 28, 2020). "Pelosi: Nationwide mask mandate 'definitely long overdue'". TheHill. Retrieved June 28, 2020.
  24. Christie, Athalia (2021). "Guidance for Implementing COVID-19 Prevention Strategies in the Context of Varying Community Transmission Levels and Vaccination Coverage". MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 70. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm7030e2. ISSN   0149-2195. PMC   8323553 .
  25. 1 2 3 4 5 "Should We All Be Wearing Masks In Public? Health Experts Revisit The Question". NPR.org. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
  26. Jankowicz, Mia (June 15, 2020). "Fauci said US government held off promoting face masks because it knew shortages were so bad that even doctors couldn't get enough". Business Insider . Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  27. Asmelash, Leah. "The surgeon general wants Americans to stop buying face masks". CNN. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  28. "CDC director says healthy people should wear masks". PolitiFact. Retrieved October 14, 2020.
  29. 1 2 Spencer, Saranac Hale (May 19, 2020). "Outdated Fauci Video on Face Masks Shared Out of Context". FactCheck.org. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  30. "CDC recommends wearing face masks during coronavirus pandemic". Los Angeles Times. April 3, 2020. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
  31. "CDC Now Recommends Americans Consider Wearing Cloth Face Coverings In Public". NPR.org. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
  32. Tufekci, Zeynep (March 17, 2020). "Why Telling People They Don't Need Masks Backfired". The New York Times . Retrieved April 12, 2020.
  33. Jingnan, Huo; Aubrey, Allison; Worth, Carmel (March 31, 2020). "Should We All Be Wearing Masks In Public? Health Experts Revisit The Question". NPR . Retrieved April 12, 2020.
  34. Dayen, David (March 23, 2020). "Mind the Trust Gap". The American Prospect . Retrieved April 12, 2020.
  35. Stracqualursi, Veronica (May 27, 2020). "Fauci says he wears a mask to be a symbol of what 'you should be doing'". CNN . Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  36. Forgey, Quint. "Fauci says he wears mask as 'symbol' of good behavior". Politico. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  37. Lovelace, Berkeley; Higgins-Dunn, Noah (June 5, 2020). "Dr. Anthony Fauci says Americans who don't wear masks may 'propagate the further spread of infection'". CNBC . Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  38. 1 2 3 Vazquez, Maegan; Malloy, Allie. "Trump says he's 'all for masks,' but believes coronavirus will 'disappear'". CNN. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  39. Breuninger, Kevin; Wilkie, Christina (April 3, 2020). "Trump says CDC advises cloth masks to protect against coronavirus, but he will not wear one". CNBC. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  40. 1 2 Mangan, Dan (May 5, 2020). "Trump does not wear coronavirus mask at Honeywell factory that makes masks". CNBC. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
  41. "Leaving Off Mask At Mayo Clinic, Pence Said He Wanted To Look Workers 'In The Eye'". NPR.org. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
  42. Moreno, J. Edward (May 22, 2020). "Trump fires back at Michigan AG after she calls him 'petulant child'". TheHill. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  43. 1 2 Moreno, J. Edward (May 22, 2020). "Trump fires back at Michigan AG after she calls him 'petulant child'". TheHill. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
  44. Bradner, Eric (May 26, 2020). "Biden blasts Trump for mocking face masks". CNN. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
  45. Johnson, Ted (May 26, 2020). ""You Want To Be Politically Correct": Donald Trump Mocks Reporter For Leaving On His Mask During Press Availability". Deadline. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  46. Lovelace Jr., Berkeley (June 18, 2020). "Trump says some Americans wear coronavirus masks 'to signal disapproval of him'". CNBC. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  47. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Swanson, Ian (June 18, 2020). "Mask-wearing becomes political even as some governors ease resistance". TheHill. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  48. "Inside Trump's Tulsa rally, no distancing despite empty seats, few masks and plenty of doubt about coronavirus". NBC News. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  49. Moreno, J. Edward (June 20, 2020). "Most Trump rally attendees opt not to wear face masks". TheHill. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  50. Roberts, Laurie. "After his Tulsa fizzle, Trump's Arizona rally is a disaster waiting to happen". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  51. Medina, Jennifer; Chang, Kenneth (June 23, 2020). "Ahead of Trump Visit, Church Makes Unproven Claim of Virus-Killing Technology". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  52. Kaczke, Lisa; Khalyleh, Hana. "Trump speaks at Mount Rushmore: See the packed, mostly mask-free crowd". Argus Leader. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
  53. "South Dakota will not enforce social distancing at Mount Rushmore Fourth of July event". The Hill . June 4, 2020. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  54. Link, Devon. "Fact check: Biden campaign events portrayed as small lack context of COVID-19 guidelines". USA Today. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  55. Leibovich, Mark (September 22, 2020). "When Joe Biden's in Town, but It's Hard to Tell". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  56. Weise, Elizabeth (June 26, 2020). "VP Pence doesn't mention wearing masks as a way of stopping the spread of coronavirus". USA Today. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  57. 1 2 Collins, Michael. "'Masks are good': Trump says he'd wear mask in small crowd but questions need for mandatory use". USA Today. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  58. 1 2 "The mask decision that will haunt Trump's reelection bid". CNN. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  59. Vella, Lauren (July 10, 2020). "Trump rally in New Hampshire postponed due to weather". TheHill. Retrieved July 12, 2020.
  60. Politi, Daniel (July 5, 2020). "Trump Campaign "Strongly" Encourages Face Masks at Outdoor Rally in New Hampshire". Slate Magazine. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  61. Reston, Maeve (July 11, 2020). "Trump gives in to the mask but takes new risks with schools". CNN. Retrieved July 12, 2020.
  62. Samuels, Brett (July 9, 2020). "Trump says he'll wear mask during upcoming trip to Walter Reed". TheHill. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  63. Graham, Joanna; Armen, Bryan (July 11, 2020). "Donald Trump wears mask in public for first time during Covid-19 pandemic". The Guardian. ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved July 12, 2020.
  64. Samuels, Brett (July 14, 2020). "First lady urges Americans to wear masks, social distance". TheHill. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  65. Choi, Matthew (July 14, 2020). "Trump, in full reversal, urges Americans to wear masks". Politico. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  66. Breuninger, Kevin (July 20, 2020). "Trump says face masks are 'patriotic' after months of largely resisting wearing one". CNBC. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  67. "In Reversal, Trump Urges Mask Use, Warns Coronavirus Pandemic Will Get Worse". NPR.org. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  68. Maegan Vazquez, Dana Bash and Kaitlan Collins. "Trump tweets image of himself wearing a mask and calls it 'patriotic'". CNN. Retrieved September 5, 2020.
  69. 1 2 Nakamura, David; Nirappil, Fenit. "Rose Garden event suspected of virus outbreak alarms D.C. officials". Washington Post. ISSN   0190-8286 . Retrieved October 4, 2020.
  70. "Trump reaffirms message of law and order at Latrobe rally". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved September 5, 2020.
  71. LeBlanc, Paul. "Trump mocks Biden for wearing mask: 'Did you ever see a man that likes a mask as much as him?'". CNN. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  72. Darcy, Oliver. "NIH official to 'retire' after being ID'd as author of anti-Fauci posts on right-wing blog". CNN. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
  73. 1 2 Stracqualursi, Veronica; Bennett, Kate. "Top Trump officials seen not wearing masks or social distancing at White House Supreme Court announcement". CNN. Retrieved October 3, 2020.
  74. 1 2 Hollie Silverman and Melissa Alonso. "Notre Dame president tests positive for Covid-19 nearly a week after attending SCOTUS announcement with no mask". CNN. Retrieved October 3, 2020.
  75. 1 2 Rucker, Philip; Dawsey, Josh; Parker, Ashley; Costa, Robert (October 2, 2020). "Invincibility punctured by infection: How the coronavirus spread in Trump's White House". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on October 3, 2020. Retrieved October 3, 2020.
  76. "Trump coronavirus: Timeline of US president's movements with wife Melania before testing positive for COVID-19". Sky News . October 2, 2020. Retrieved October 3, 2020.
  77. Moreno, J. Edward (October 2, 2020). "White House wanted to keep Hope Hicks's positive COVID-19 test private: report". The Hill . Retrieved October 3, 2020.
  78. "President Trump, First Lady and Hope Hicks may have spread coronavirus at Cleveland presidential debate". cleveland. October 2, 2020.
  79. Kevin Liptak, Kaitlan Collins, Betsy Klein, Jim Acosta and Paul LeBlanc. "President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump test positive for Covid-19". CNN. Retrieved October 3, 2020.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  80. Stelter, Brian. "Trump downplayed Hope Hicks' Covid diagnosis on Fox hours before announcing he also tested positive". CNN. Retrieved October 3, 2020.
  81. Silverman, Hollie; Alonso, Melissa (October 2, 2020). "Notre Dame president tests positive for Covid-19 nearly a week after attending SCOTUS announcement with no mask". CNN. Retrieved October 3, 2020.
  82. Romero, Simon; Fazio, Marie (October 3, 2020). "The president of Notre Dame tests positive, less than a week after a White House visit". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved October 3, 2020.
  83. Haberman, Maggie; Fandos, Nicholas; Edmondson, Catie; Lerer, Lisa; Wolfe, Lauren; Mandavilli, Apoorva (October 3, 2020). "Positive Tests for Senators Raise Questions About Timing of Barrett Hearings". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved October 3, 2020.
  84. "Scrutiny on Rose Garden event after Kellyanne Conway and other guests test positive for Covid". The Guardian. October 3, 2020. Retrieved October 3, 2020.
  85. Chase, Brett (October 2, 2020). "Notre Dame president tests positive for COVID-19 days after not wearing mask at White House ceremony". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved October 3, 2020.
  86. Davis, Aaron C.; Boburg, Shawn; Dawsey, Josh. "Trump's debate guests refused to wear masks, flouting rules". Washington Post. ISSN   0190-8286 . Retrieved October 3, 2020.
  87. Victor, Daniel; Serviss, Lew; Paybarah, Azi (October 2, 2020). "In His Own Words, Trump on the Coronavirus and Masks". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved October 3, 2020.
  88. Vella, Lauren (October 2, 2020). "Chris Wallace: Trump arrived too late to be tested in Ohio before debate, relied on 'honor system'". The Hill . Retrieved October 3, 2020.
  89. "Tucker Carlson distorts new CDC report, makes false mask claim". PolitiFact. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  90. "Trump repeats claim linking face masks to spread of coronavirus. The CDC fires back". NBC News. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  91. Caldera, Camille. "Fact check: CDC report doesn't show mask-wearers are more likely to contract COVID-19". USA TODAY. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  92. Vazquez, Maegan (October 29, 2020). "Trump seems to strike a new tone on masks: 'If you get close, wear a mask'". CNN. Retrieved November 2, 2020.
  93. Fox, Maggie (January 20, 2021). "Biden's first executive order will require masks on federal property". CTV News. CNN Digital. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  94. 1 2 "Executive Order on Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing". The White House. January 21, 2021. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  95. 1 2 Leary, Alex (January 21, 2021). "Biden Signs Executive Orders on Face-Mask Mandate, Keystone Pipeline, Paris Accord". Wall Street Journal. ISSN   0099-9660 . Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  96. 1 2 "Executive Order on Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel". The White House. January 21, 2021.
  97. Josephs, Leslie (April 30, 2021). "TSA extends mask requirement for planes, buses and trains through mid-September". CNBC. Retrieved May 17, 2021.
  98. Hoffman, Jason; Vazquez, Maegan (April 27, 2021). "Biden pushes new CDC mask guidance as a reason why all Americans should get vaccinated". CNN. Retrieved May 14, 2021.
  99. "CDC issues new outdoor mask guidance for fully vaccinated people". CNN. April 27, 2021. Retrieved May 14, 2021.
  100. McKay, Betsy (December 7, 2020). "Biden to Select Rochelle Walensky to Lead the CDC". Wall Street Journal. ISSN   0099-9660 . Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  101. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "'The right decision wrongly handled': Inside the Biden administration's abrupt reversal on masks". Washington Post. ISSN   0190-8286 . Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  102. 1 2 3 Mole, Beth (May 17, 2021). "CDC defends its abrupt reversal on masks after backlash from experts". Ars Technica. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  103. 1 2 "Biden touts new CDC mask guidance as 'a great day for America'". CNN. May 13, 2021. Retrieved May 14, 2021.
  104. Rogers, Katie; Fandos, Nicholas (May 13, 2021). "Removing Masks Becomes the First Bipartisan Activity of Biden's Washington". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  105. "Biden's call for vaccinated Americans to drop their masks gets mixed results in Washington". NBC News. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  106. 1 2 3 Danner, Chas (July 26, 2021). "The Mask-Mandate Debate Is Back. Here's What to Know". Intelligencer. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  107. Leonard, Ben. "States, retail giants lift mask mandates". POLITICO. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  108. "The new mask guidance relies on an honor system. Do we trust each other enough to make it work?". Washington Post. ISSN   0190-8286 . Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  109. Bogost, Ian (May 14, 2021). "No One Actually Knows If You're Vaccinated". The Atlantic. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  110. "Covid: US rules out federal vaccine passports". BBC News. April 6, 2021. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  111. Atkins, Chloe (April 21, 2021). "These states are attempting to ban or curtail 'vaccine passports'". NBC News. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  112. Wargo, Abby (April 21, 2021). "Gov. Noem issues executive order banning vaccine passports in state". Rapid City Journal. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  113. "Fauci says public is 'misinterpreting' latest CDC mask guidance". NBC News. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  114. "Los Angeles urges everyone to mask up because of delta variant — even the vaccinated". Washington Post. June 30, 2021. Retrieved July 21, 2021.
  115. "L.A. County will require masks indoors amid alarming rise in coronavirus cases". Los Angeles Times. July 15, 2021. Retrieved July 15, 2021.
  116. "Fauci says US headed in 'wrong direction' on coronavirus". AP NEWS. July 25, 2021. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  117. "CDC Urges Vaccinated People To Mask Up Indoors In Places With High Virus Transmission". NPR.org. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  118. CNN, By Kaitlan Collins, John Harwood, Kevin Liptak, Jeremy Diamond and Kate Sullivan (July 27, 2021). "CDC changes mask guidance in response to threat of Delta variant of Covid-19 | CNN Politics". CNN. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  119. Josephs, Noah Higgins-Dunn,Leslie (July 7, 2020). "Businesses, sick of policing mask use to prevent coronavirus, ask government to step in". CNBC. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  120. "National mask mandate could save 5 percent of GDP, economists say". Washington Post. June 30, 2020. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  121. Tara Subramaniam. "Fact Check: Can the President enact a nationwide mask mandate?". CNN. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  122. 1 2 Duster, Chandelis. "This is what the Surgeon General had to say about mask mandates". CNN. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  123. Nam, Rafael (July 14, 2020). "House panel approves measure requiring masks on public transport". TheHill. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  124. "Appropriations Committee Approves Fiscal Year 2021 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development Funding Bill". House Committee on Appropriations. July 14, 2020. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  125. Feuer, Will (July 14, 2020). "CDC study recommends mask mandates to battle coronavirus after tracking infected stylists at Missouri hair salon". CNBC. Retrieved July 18, 2020.
  126. Hendrix, M. Joshua (2020). "Absence of Apparent Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from Two Stylists After Exposure at a Hair Salon with a Universal Face Covering Policy — Springfield, Missouri, May 2020". MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 69 (28): 930–932. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6928e2 . ISSN   0149-2195. PMID   32673300.
  127. Feuer, Berkeley Lovelace Jr ,Will (July 14, 2020). "CDC says U.S. could get coronavirus under control in one to two months if everyone wears a mask". CNBC. Retrieved July 18, 2020.
  128. "CDC's Dr. Redfield: This is why everyone should be wearing masks". American Medical Association. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  129. Bowden, John (July 16, 2020). "Feinstein proposes withholding COVID-19 relief from states without mask mandates". TheHill. Retrieved July 18, 2020.
  130. Krieg, Gregory. "Bernie Sanders introduces bill to provide 'Masks for all'". CNN. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  131. Gangitano, Alex (July 31, 2020). "House Dems introduce bill to require masks on planes and in airports". TheHill. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  132. Wilkie, Christina (August 13, 2020). "Joe Biden calls for a nationwide mask mandate as he pushes his plan to combat coronavirus". CNBC. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
  133. "Biden says he believes president has 'legal authority' to implement mask mandate". ABC News. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
  134. Thrush, Glenn (September 18, 2020). "Three Takeaways From Biden's Town Hall". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved September 18, 2020.
  135. "Joe Biden To Only Enforce Mask Mandate On Federal Land". Mediaite. September 18, 2020. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
  136. "CDC director says healthy people should wear masks". politifact. Retrieved October 14, 2020.
  137. 1 2 DiSalvo, David (March 30, 2020). "I Spent A Day In The Coronavirus-Driven Feeding Frenzy Of N95 Mask Sellers And Buyers And This Is What I Learned". Forbes. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  138. Natasha Bertrand; Gabby Orr; Daneil Lippman; Nahal Toosi (March 31, 2020). "Pence task force freezes coronavirus aid amid backlash". Politico. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  139. Walsh, Ben (April 3, 2020). "President Trump Slams 3M, Invokes Defense Production Act". Barron's . Archived from the original on April 3, 2020. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  140. Sullivan, Peter (April 2, 2020). "Trump to expand use of Defense Production Act to build ventilators". The Hill . Archived from the original on April 4, 2020. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  141. 1 2 "N95 masks save lives. So why are they still hard to get this far into a pandemic?". Washington Post. Retrieved May 17, 2021.
  142. Chase, Brett (September 28, 2020). "N95 mask shortage scares health care workers ahead of projected COVID-19 spike". Chicago Sun-Times.
  143. 1 2 Jacobs, Andrew (February 10, 2021). "Can't Find an N95 Mask? This Company Has 30 Million That It Can't Sell". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved May 17, 2021.
  144. "Hospitals Still Ration Medical N95 Masks as Stockpiles Swell". February 16, 2021.
  145. Iati, Marisa (February 3, 2021). "Why the U.S. still has a shortage of N95 masks". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 1, 2021.
  146. Rohrlich, Justin. "An Indiana hospital theft shows face masks and hand sanitizer are now as sought-after as drugs". Quartz.
  147. "Theft of masks, sanitizer at Naval Medical Center San Diego lead to bag checks for staff". San Diego Union-Tribune. April 10, 2020.
  148. "Where is all the PPE?". AAMC.
  149. "Upstate NY hospital worker arrested, accused of stealing face masks". syracuse. March 30, 2020.
  150. Long, Colleen (February 17, 2021). "US govt seizes over 10M phony N95 masks in COVID-19 probe". Associated Press. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  151. "1.7 million counterfeit 3M N95 masks seized from Queens warehouse". abc7NY. February 11, 2021. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  152. Mayerle, Jennifer (February 15, 2021). "'Not A Problem That Is Going Away': 3M Fighting To Keep Counterfeit N95 Masks Off The Frontline". CBS Minnesota. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  153. Onishi, Norimitsu; Méheut, Constant (April 9, 2020). "Mask-Wearing Is a Very New Fashion in Paris (and a Lot of Other Places)". The New York Times.
  154. Winn, Patrick (April 1, 2020). "Will the US ever mimic Asia's culture of 'universal masking'?". Public Radio International.
  155. "Mask or no mask? Democrats, Republicans find new battleground". SFChronicle.com. May 7, 2020. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  156. 1 2 3 Bosman, Julie (July 1, 2020). "Amid Virus Surge, Republicans Abruptly Urge Masks Despite Trump's Resistance". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  157. "Coronavirus: Why etiquette, not social shaming, will get people to wear masks and keep a distance". The Mercury News. April 18, 2020. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  158. "Masks are critical to safely reopening and avoiding future lockdowns: Harley Rouda". Orange County Register. June 21, 2020. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  159. Cohen, Max. "Trump shifts messaging on masks, saying he's open to wearing one in public". Politico. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  160. "Coronavirus protesters, if you want people to listen, ditch Alex Jones. And wear masks". Star Telegram. April 21, 2020.
  161. Pierce, Charles P. (May 21, 2020). "An Illinois State Lawmaker Believes the Freedom to Infect Shall Not Be Infringed". Esquire. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  162. Harris, Scott Duke. "Coronavirus: From my view in Hong Kong, American reluctance to wear a mask is suicidal". USA Today. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  163. "Trump Hasn't Worn A Mask Publicly. Here's What Might Convince Him To". NPR.org. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  164. Miranda Devine (May 28, 2020). "You can't mask the Joe Biden mess: Devine". New York Post. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  165. 1 2 Friedersdorf, Conor (May 5, 2020). "Masks Are a Tool, Not a Symbol". The Atlantic. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  166. 1 2 Weill, Kelly (May 20, 2020). "Fringe Right Wants People to Fake Disability to Avoid Masks". The Daily Beast. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  167. 1 2 "Can People Without Disabilities Use an ADA 'Mask Loophole' in Stores?". Snopes.com. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  168. 1 2 "Rush Limbaugh mocks Dr. Anthony Fauci for wearing a mask at White House event". Media Matters for America. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  169. Lidsky, David (June 28, 2020). "This one image shows how wearing a mask has become political". Fast Company. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  170. Srikanth, Anagha (July 8, 2020). "Tucker Carlson wrongly claims coronavirus prevention measures aren't backed by science". TheHill. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  171. Gertz, Matt. "How Fox News helped turn masks into another culture war flashpoint". Media Matters for America. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  172. 1 2 3 "73% of Democrats are wearing masks to fight coronavirus. Only 59% of Republicans are". Washington Post. May 15, 2020. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  173. "Americans' Reported Use of Face Masks Surges in Past Week". Gallup.com. April 17, 2020. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
  174. Diamond, Dan; Cancryn, Adam. "Even Trump devotees think masks help stop coronavirus". Politico. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  175. 1 2 Forgey, Quint. "'It would just set a good example': Trump's allies push him to embrace masks". Politico. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  176. "As U.S. soars past 2.5 million coronavirus cases, Pence urges Americans to wear masks, social distance". Washington Post. June 28, 2020. Retrieved June 28, 2020.
  177. Ehrlich, Jamie (June 28, 2020). "Choir of more than 100 people perform without masks at Pence event". CNN. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  178. Cohen, Max. "Bipartisan majority supports statewide mask mandates, poll finds". Politico. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  179. Hartlaub, Peter (May 8, 2020). "Anti-Mask League: San Francisco had its own shutdown protests during 1918 pandemic". SFChronicle.com. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  180. Kane, Peter Lawrence (April 29, 2020). "The Anti-Mask League: lockdown protests draw parallels to 1918 pandemic". The Guardian. ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  181. "For Black Men, Homemade Masks May Be a Risk All Their Own". Time. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  182. Fernando Alfonso III. "Why some people of color say they won't wear homemade masks". CNN. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  183. Cheung, Helier; Feng, Zhaoyin; Deng, Boer (May 27, 2020). "'I'm Asian, so I can never be American'". BBC News. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  184. "Asians in US torn between safety and stigma over face masks". Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  185. "'Alarming': Authorities seize masks Oakland printer made for protesters". The Mercury News. June 5, 2020. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  186. Andrew, Scottie. "An Oregon county drops its mask exemption for people of color after racist response". CNN. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  187. "'Incomprehensible': Confrontations over masks erupt amid COVID-19 crisis". ABC News. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  188. MacFarquhar, Neil (May 15, 2020). "Who's Enforcing Mask Rules? Often Retail Workers, and They're Getting Hurt". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  189. Swaim, Chance; Lefler, Dion; Stavola, Michael (October 16, 2020). "One arrested in threat to kidnap and kill Wichita mayor over COVID-19 mask mandate". The Wichita Eagle . Retrieved October 17, 2020.
  190. Goldbaum, Christina (September 18, 2020). "When a Bus Driver Told a Rider to Wear a Mask, 'He Knocked Me Out Cold'". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331. Archived from the original on November 16, 2020. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  191. Guse, Clayton (October 4, 2020). "'No Talking' signs should be on NYC subway, disease experts say". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on November 16, 2020. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  192. Olmeda, Rafael; Huriash, Lisa J. "No mask? No personal space? You may face a new penalty: Social-distance shaming". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  193. Andrew, Scottie. "The psychology behind why some people won't wear masks". CNN. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  194. "Why do Trump and Pence refuse to wear masks? Because fascists never want to look "weak"". Salon. May 8, 2020. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  195. "MDX academic's joint research finds men less likely to wear masks to protect against COVID-19". Middlesex University London. May 14, 2020. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  196. Boskovich, Ben (May 15, 2020). "Masks, Men, and the Exhausting Pursuit of Desperate Masculinity". Esquire. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  197. 1 2 Komenda, Ed. "Caesars Entertainment requires all guests to wear masks inside all hotel-casinos". USA TODAY. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  198. 1 2 Komenda, Ed. "Las Vegas casino company is paying guests $20 to wear masks". USA TODAY. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  199. 1 2 Marinucci, Carla; Colliver, Victoria. "California requires masks statewide in bid to slow coronavirus spread". Politico PRO. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  200. 1 2 3 "Orange County authorities won't enforce mask requirement: 'We are not the mask police'". Los Angeles Times. May 26, 2020. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
  201. Harring, Alex (July 20, 2020). "More than half of U.S. states have statewide mask mandates". CNBC. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  202. Roberts, Caroline. "Which states require face masks: Breaking down the rules for all 50 states". CNET. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
  203. peters, john (June 20, 2020). "North Carolina town will require face masks starting Saturday, misdemeanor charges possible for non-compliance". WXII. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  204. 1 2 "Birmingham makes it law: Masks required". al. April 28, 2020. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  205. 1 2 Haddad, Ken; Hutchinson, Derick (July 10, 2020). "Michigan Gov. Whitmer signs order requiring masks in indoor, some outdoor public spaces". ClickOnDetroit.com . Graham Media Group . Retrieved July 12, 2020.
  206. 1 2 Wolf, Stephanie (May 11, 2020). "Ky. Governor's Mask Wearing Order Goes Into Effect". 89.3 WFPL News Louisville. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  207. "VERIFY: You can wear a mask and carry a gun in Washington". KREM News. Tegna, Inc. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  208. Spencer, Saranac Hale (June 26, 2020). "Wearing Face Mask During Pandemic Doesn't Affect Concealed Carry Permit". FactCheck.org. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  209. "Vegas PD: Concealed carry permit holders can carry while wearing face masks". KTNV. June 27, 2020. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  210. 1 2 "New face mask requirement for workers begins Monday in Washington state". king5.com. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  211. Monahan, Rachel. "Gov. Kate Brown Will Require Face Masks at Many Oregon Businesses". Willamette Week. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
  212. "Masks will be mandatory for some Louisiana workers, Gov. Edwards says". wwltv.com. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
  213. 1 2 3 "Washington's face mask requirement starts Friday". king5.com. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  214. 1 2 3 4 "Pennsylvania Joins The Growing List Of States Mandating Face Masks In Public". NPR.org. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  215. 1 2 Pitofsky, Marina (July 11, 2020). "Louisiana governor announces mask mandate amid COVID-19 surge". TheHill. Retrieved July 12, 2020.
  216. Urness, Zach. "After Brown's order, Oregonians must wear masks in crowded outdoors or risk closures, fines". Statesman Journal. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  217. 1 2 "Statewide mask mandate for customers now in effect". king5.com. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  218. Kim, Allen. "Several sheriffs in North Carolina say they won't enforce the state's mask mandate". CNN. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  219. "'Don't be a sheep': Sheriffs rebel against new statewide mask requirements". Washington Post. June 26, 2020. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  220. "More States Require Masks In Public As COVID-19 Spreads, But Enforcement Lags". NPR.org. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  221. Tapp, Tom (June 24, 2020). "California Coronavirus Update: Governor Gavin Newsom Reports New Infections Rose Over 40 Percent In Past 24 Hours". Deadline. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  222. "Newsom threatens California counties that defy coronavirus rules as cases spike". San Francisco Chronicle. June 25, 2020. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  223. 1 2 Rivera, Ray (June 26, 2020). "McMaster says he will not enact a face mask mandate, calling it 'ineffective and impractical'". Live 5 News. Gray Television . Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  224. 1 2 "SC governor orders mask wearing in many situations, reopens more businesses". WLTX News 19 . Tegna. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
  225. Boucher, Dave; Spangler, Todd. "Michigan Supreme Court rules against Whitmer on emergency powers but effect unclear". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
  226. LeBlanc, Beth (October 4, 2020). "After high court decision, Michigan AG will not enforce COVID orders". The Detroit News. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
  227. Pluta, Rick. "Whitmer says Michigan Supreme Court "undermined" COVID efforts". www.michiganradio.org. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  228. 1 2 "Michigan Supreme Court Decision Spurs Widespread Changes to Government COVID-19 Response: Update for Week of October 12, 2020". Foley & Lardner LLP. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  229. 1 2 Haddad, Ken (October 12, 2020). "Michigan Supreme Court: Gov. Whitmer's COVID orders no longer in effect". WDIV. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  230. "Michigan health department issues order requiring masks, limiting gathering sizes statewide". mlive. October 5, 2020. Retrieved October 11, 2020.
  231. "Chiropractor challenges Michigan's new mask mandate in lawsuit". mlive. October 20, 2020. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  232. "Wisconsin Judge Upholds Governor's Statewide Mask Mandate". NPR.org. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  233. Marcus, Julia (June 23, 2020). "The Dudes Who Won't Wear Masks". The Atlantic. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  234. "Officials see pushback as more states, counties require people to wear masks in public". ABC News. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  235. "Can the government legally force you to wear a mask?". Poynter. June 22, 2020. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  236. "Life, liberty and wearing a mask | Column". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  237. "Face-Covering Requirements and the Constitution". American Constitution Society. June 3, 2020. Retrieved July 18, 2020.
  238. 1 2 3 Klar, Rebecca (July 15, 2020). "Georgia governor overrides all local mask orders in the state". TheHill. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  239. 1 2 Beckett, Lois (June 17, 2020). "Arizona governor backtracks on mask rules as Covid-19 cases surge". The Guardian. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  240. 1 2 Fifield (June 17, 2020). "Cities from Scottsdale to Surprise require face masks in public; Maricopa County mandate covers the rest". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  241. Svitek, Patrick (July 2, 2020). "Gov. Greg Abbott orders Texans in most counties to wear masks in public". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  242. "Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Sues Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms Over Face Mask Order". NPR.org. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  243. Bluestein, Greg; Redmon, Jeremy. "Kemp v. Bottoms settlement discussions hit a snag over mask mandates". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  244. "Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Sued to Block Atlanta's Face Mask Ordinance. Here's What to Know". Time. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  245. "Governor Drops Lawsuit Against Atlanta Mayor Over Masks, But Fight May Not Be Over". NPR.org. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  246. 1 2 Bluestein, Greg. "In reversal, Kemp's new order to let some cities impose mask mandates". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  247. 1 2 3 "'People don't want to be forced.' How Kansas mask mandate became political tussle". The Wichita Eagle. July 9, 2020. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  248. Wheat, Shawn. "Shawnee Co. Commissioners reject Governor's mask order, develop less severe standards". WIBW. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  249. Hrenchir, Tim. "Mask mandate approved for Shawnee County". The Topeka Capital-Journal. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  250. Levenson, Michael (July 4, 2020). "Kansas G.O.P. Official Removes Cartoon Comparing Mask Order to Holocaust". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  251. Srikanth, Anagha (August 10, 2020). "This state tested whether mask mandates decrease coronavirus cases. The results are dramatic". TheHill. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  252. Carpenter, Kansas Reflector-Tim. "University of Kansas research: County mask mandates stall major rise in COVID-19". ESU Bulletin. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  253. Marshall, Vincent. "Mayor Warshaw resigns effective immediately". Dodge City Daily Globe. Retrieved December 20, 2020.
  254. Marshall, Vincent. "Kansas mayor resigns following backlash to USA TODAY story on city's mask mandate, citing phone and email threats". USA TODAY. Retrieved December 20, 2020.
  255. Strubinger, Lee. "Noem Questions Mask Studies Despite CDC Recommendation". SDPB. Retrieved September 28, 2020.
  256. Strubinger, Lee. "South Dakota Health Systems Agree On Masks, Noem Questions Efficacy". SDPB. Retrieved September 28, 2020.
  257. "Covid: Biden says 'Neanderthal thinking' behind lifting of mask rules". BBC News. March 4, 2021. Retrieved