Less than half of Americans who don’t plan to get vaccinated have worn a mask recently, according to a new survey

anti mask protest
An anti-mask protestor holds up a sign in front of the Ohio Statehouse during a right-wing protest in Columbus, Ohio.

  • Unvaccinated Americans are wearing masks less than ever, according to a new Gallup poll.
  • Just under 50% of Americans who don’t plan to get vaccinated against COVID report wearing masks.
  • The new poll is the first from Gallup since CDC guidelines were updated for vaccinated Americans.
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Americans who don’t plan to get vaccinated against COVID-19 are masking less than ever, a new poll has found.

Just 49% of Americans who said they don’t plan to get vaccinated also said they had worn a mask in the last seven days, according to the latest Gallup poll – the first such poll since the CDC revised masking guidelines for vaccinated Americans.

Those new guidelines stated that people who are vaccinated are able to go maskless in most settings, including indoor gatherings among other maskless people.

Yet the same poll found that most vaccinated Americans are keeping their masks on: 90% of fully vaccinated people said that they had worn a mask in the last seven days.

Walenski CDC US
Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Notably, the question lacked specificity as to how those vaccinated people were masking.

While some national chains like Walmart, Starbucks, and Best Buy are allowing vaccinated customers to go maskless, many private businesses are still requiring all customers to wear a mask. And hospitals, public transportation, and airlines are all still asking everyone to wear a mask, vaccinated or not.

About 61% of the eligible American population has received at least one dose of the available COVID vaccines, according to the CDC, and President Biden has set a goal to hit 70% by July 4.

The poll results highlight a stark contrast between people who don’t plan to get vaccinated and those who either plan to get vaccinated, are partially vaccinated, or already are fully vaccinated: Less than half of the former group has used a mask in the last seven days, while 80 to 90% of the latter group have.

Since lockdowns were instituted in March 2020, and masking became standard during the global coronavirus pandemic, anti-mask protesters have pushed back – storming a Target last summer, staging rallies around the world, and showing up heavily armed at statehouses.

Masking quickly became a political issue, with far-right politicians like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene most recently comparing mask mandates to the Holocaust.

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House panel says CDC director Robert Redfield demanded the deletion of an email showing interference in Covid-19 guidance

trump visit cdc
US President Donald Trump alongside US Health and Human Service Secretary Alex Azar (at left), and CDC Director Robert Redfield (at right) during a tour of the CDC headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 6, 2020.

  • CDC Robert Redfield allegedly ordered subordinates to delete an email from a senior health official in the Trump administration requesting changes to a major report on how COVID-19 impacts children.
  • Charlotte Kent, editor of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, told congressional investigators on Monday that she was instructed her to delete HHS staffer Paul Alexander’s email in August.
  • Rep. James Clyburn, who leads the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, wrote in a letter to Trump administration health officials that the email deletion may be evidence of a cover-up of political interference. 
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The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Robert Redfield, allegedly ordered subordinates to delete an email from a senior health official in the Trump administration requesting changes to a major report on how COVID-19 impacts children.

Charlotte Kent, editor of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, told congressional investigators on Monday that, at Redfield’s direction, a colleague at the CDC instructed her to delete HHS staffer Paul Alexander’s email in August. She was on vacation at the time and told investigators that by the time she’d searched for the email, it had already been deleted. 

Rep. James Clyburn, who leads the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, wrote in a letter to Redfield and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar that he has “serious” concerns about “what may be deliberate efforts by the Trump Administration to conceal and destroy evidence that senior political appointees interfered with career officials’ response to the coronavirus crisis at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

The MMWR was not altered before it was published. But intentionally destroying federal records is a criminal offense that can be punished with prison time. 

In the email, which Clyburn quotes in his letter, Alexander wrote that the CDC’s report on the coronavirus’ impact on children was “very misleading” and aimed to undermine President Donald Trump. 

“This is designed to hurt this President [sic] for their reasons which I am not interested in,” Alexander, a top aide to Azar, wrote in the deleted message. 

Clyburn also alleged in his letter that Trump administration officials improperly delayed the publication of a CDC report on the spread of COVID-19 at a Georgia summer camp until after Redfield testified before Congress on July 31.

A spokesperson for HHS told The Washington Post that Clyburn’s characterization of Kent’s allegations was “irresponsible” and denied her charges. 

“We urge the subcommittee to release the transcript in full, which will show that during her testimony Dr. Kent repeatedly said there was no political interference in the MMWR process,” the spokesperson said. 

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