President Donald Trump has contributed to the partisan divide, declining to cover his face in public despite his administration’s guidance and a recent White House directive requiring West Wing staffers to wear masks at all times in the building, except at their own desks.
But Jones argued Wednesday it is the responsibility of elected officials to model best practices and healthy behavior as the United States continues to battle an infectious outbreak that has devastated the national economy.
“I think we have to set an example. I’ve been trying to do that in my home state for the last six weeks or seven weeks. Set an example,” he said. “Try to tell people, ‘It’s OK. It’s not a cultural shock to wear a mask out in public these days, because I want to protect your health. And I want you to protect mine.’”
Despite the apparent split among senators on whether to sport face coverings, an overwhelming 71 percent of respondents in a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll published Wednesday say that when Trump and Vice President Mike Pence travel, they should wear masks in public places. Concurring with that position are 82 percent of Democrats, 70 percent of independents and 58 percent of Republicans.