Trump’s stunt, and Ford’s compliance with it, did not go down well with at least one state official. “Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said she will inquire why Ford executives let Trump tour its plant without a face covering when state law requires everyone to wear a mask indoors.” If they violated state law and/or exposed employees to unnecessary risk, they should pay a price. (Incidentally, Ford executives are a walking/talking example of why immunity from suits claiming exposure to the virus should not be extended to employers. They need to be at financial risk if they don’t follow safe practices.)
The good news is that Americans are ignoring Trump. “Americans say, 62% to 29%, that deciding to wear a face mask is more a matter of public health than a matter of personal choice,” Huffington Report tells us, based on the findings of a Huff Post/YouGov poll. “A 45% plurality say they feel that wearing a face mask protects the person wearing it and others equally, with 31% saying it mostly protects others from germs the wearer may be carrying. Just 9% say it serves mainly to protect the person wearing it, and just 8% that it offers no benefits at all.” They seem to be better informed than Trump.
Unlike Trump, “about two-thirds say they always or mostly wear a face mask or other covering when they’re in public and near other people (while grocery shopping, for instance), with another 23% saying they do so only once in a while or not at all.” More than 60 percent say Trump and other officials should wear masks in public or around others. Even Trump’s core group — Republican men — embrace masks. (“A 62% majority of GOP men say mask-wearing shows respect, and more than half say they consider it a matter of public health.”)
Other polling confirms that mask-wearing is overwhelmingly popular and not nearly as partisan as one would imagine, watching Trump and his mask-free cult followers protesting around the country. Seventy-three percent in a new Associated Press/NORC poll say they wear a mask in public, up 5 percent from April. A stunning 82 percent think before stay-at-home orders are lifted people should be required “to wear face masks when they’re around other people outside their homes.” In addition, 62 percent think Trump doesn’t listen to health-care experts enough. (Experts, of course, recommend wearing masks.)
As with so much else Trump does, his aberrant behavior may bind him to a thin sliver of the electorate. There will always be, unfortunately, a market for irresponsible behavior by those willfully ignorant of science. Increasingly, however, it seems that Trump and his niche group are isolated from the rest of Americans who choose to listen to reliable data and take common-sense measures to protect themselves and their families.