The masks policy has shifted back and forth since the beginning of the pandemic. Political psychologist Dr. Rossi, Ph.D. discusses the mask impact with WINK News host.
The topic of masks has certainly been a roller-coaster during a pandemic that little was known about. In February 2020 before the COVID19 pandemic and only a distant fear, Former President Trump told Bob Woodward in an interview that it was much more deadly than the flu. Yet, for the balance of the year, he continued to play it down, and refute the scientists and medical experts.
Trump never had a masks policy, nor did he ever encourage his followers to wear one. Many of Trump’s followers said on camera that had Trump told people at his rallies to wear a mask, they would have.
In the spring of 2020 many Trump supporters co-opted Trump’s talking points that the severity of the pandemic was overblown; more hype than reality, Dr. Drew says. Trump supporters discounted masks, saying They stormed state capital buildings and launched protests across the country pushing back on wearing a mask. Many Trumplicans didn’t believe in masks. Many said lockdowns were an infringement on their personal liberty, and protested, even storming state capital buildings.
The division over the pandemic response became continually more polarized, raising the stress level across the country.
In September 2020 Trump continually said, “we are rounding the corner.” Yet, in the subsequent months, another 200,00+ people died in the U.S.
Scientists put forth models that indicated that if handled moderately well, that the virus was still likely to kill 100,000 – 200,000 Americans. By the end of 2020, that number approached 500,00.
When Joe Biden took office, he led by example and wore a mask almost continually, especially on TV. He enacted a federal mask mandate and moved to mobilize an aggressive vaccine rollout. His message was that “freedom requires responsibility” and it was everyone’s ‘patriotic duty to come together in unity to beat the pandemic.
His goal to immunize 200 million people In his first 100 days in office was achieved with days to spare. At its height, vaccinations reached as many as 4 million people a day.
The strategy appears to have worked as the United States is poised to reopen most states by July. Biden has embraced the science and listened to the medical experts in his decision making, rather than offer his own alternative cures.
In this short episode, Dr. Rossi discusses the ‘mask policy’ of the Biden administration and reflects on its impact. He talks about Biden’s commitment to follow science, rather than refute it for political purposes.