The last Republican vice president, Richard B. Cheney, and his Wyoming congresswoman daughter, Liz, say wearing masks is manly.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says there should be no stigma associated with covering one’s face as public health experts advise, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) says doing so is essential to fully reopening the economy.
The GOP-led city of Jacksonville — which President Trump recently selected to host many of the Republican National Convention festivities in part because of its relatively lax public health restrictions — is now mandating people wear masks in indoor public spaces. And even Sean Hannity and Steve Doocy, two of Trump’s most fervent and loyal boosters on Fox News Channel, have joined the chorus of mask advocates.
The president has refused to trumpet his own administration’s recommendation that people cover their faces, nor has he set an example by wearing a mask at public events. In fact, he has used his bully pulpit to mock others who do and to cast doubt on the efficacy of masks.
But with coronavirus cases soaring across the nation — and most precipitously across Florida, Texas and other parts of so-called Trump country — many prominent Republicans are now echoing the pleas of infectious-diseases expert Anthony S. Fauci and other health experts that people wear masks to slow the spread of the virus and help the economy reopen safely.
The recent shift on the political right has left Trump isolated, with the president and his White House staff openly resisting the calls for mask-wearing.