"Wear a Mask. If Only It Were That Simple.": Political Science Research Highlighted in Kaiser Health News

Scientist are warning of a larger wave of infection this winter. They agree the simplest, easiest way to fight that surge is to get most people to wear masks most of the time. Yet the political fight over face coverings rages. trump is amplifying disdain for masks and, in fact, the phenomenon has been playing out across the country, most strikingly among some of Trump’s most ardent supporters — law enforcement and extremely conservative politicians. the single-strongest predictor of whether or not a state will mandate strong mask policies bears little relationship to a state’s disease problem, according to Chris Adolph, a professor of political science and statistics in University of Washington.

The especially frightening element to the anti-mask movement is that it can only worsen what scientists already warn is going to be a bad winter. It is doubly frustrating — and alarming — because while mask adoption had been rising over the summer, it’s recently begun to slip. The shift caused IHME to adjust upward its model of how many people would get infected and die by Jan. 1 in the United States.

"Indeed, the single-strongest predictor of whether or not a state will mandate strong mask policies bears little relationship to a state’s disease problem, according to a recent study by a team at the University of Washington."

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