Adams made an impassioned call for people to realize that wearing a mask isn’t meant to be an attempt to take away their freedoms, but a method of preventing the novel coronavirus from spreading across the U.S.
“It relies on the individual people of America doing the right thing, and that’s why I’m pleading with your viewers, I’m begging you: Please understand that we are not trying to take away your freedoms when we say wear a face covering,” Adams said.
He added that other social distancing measures that the government has recommended aren’t intended to be a burden but are necessary for saving lives and preventing people from becoming seriously ill with COVID-19.
“We’re not trying to take away your ability to go out when we say keep restaurant capacity under 50 percent. We’re saying if we do these things, we can actually open and stay open. We can get back to school, to worship, to jobs,” he said.
Adams concluded that he believed Americans would step up to the plate, despite recent struggles among local leaders to convince citizens to don face coverings while in public.
“We can do this. And I’m a hopeless optimist. But I really do believe Americans will do the right thing,” he added.
If all Americans wore masks, he assured viewers, the virus could be well under control within just a few months and people could return back to some semblance of a normal life.
As Gallup recently reported, the decision of whether or not to wear a mask largely falls along party lines. While 44 percent of Americans say they “always” wear a mask when they leave their home, only a majority of Democrats say they do so. Just 24 percent of people who identify as Republican always wear a mask when they leave their homes.
Only 1 percent of Democrats say they “never” wear a mask in public, while 27 percent of Republicans who responded to the poll say that they never do.
As it is, the novel coronavirus is surging in many parts of the country, and the U.S. has broken records for new cases and deaths on multiple occasions in the past few weeks. The president has faced criticism for failing to urge people to wear masks, and for regularly refusing to wear one while making public appearances. He recently opted to wear a mask and encouraged others to do so, though he added that the choice was up to the individual.
More recently, he once again cast doubt on the guideline to wear a mask, something health experts condemn.