Survey: Majority of Americans Don't Favor Return of Mask Mandates (Douglas Magno/AFP via Getty Images)
By Jason Clemons | Monday, 28 March 2022 09:05 PM
The American public overwhelmingly does not support reinstituting mask mandates or social-distancing guidelines, a survey from Monmouth University revealed on Monday.
According to the findings, 62% of those polled had no interest in bringing back mask requirements to their current state of residence, compared to just 34% of respondents seeking a return to mask mandates and/or stringent social-distancing policies.
That's a 10-point jump in the span of two months. Back in January, a similar Monmouth poll determined 52% of respondents opposed reinstating mask mandates or other interaction guidelines.
The March survey had other revelations, including 77% favoring relaxed recommendations from the Atlanta-based CDC. Also, a whopping 73% of surveygoers reacted positively, when asked if it were "time to accept that COVID is here to stay?"
"We asked the same question about accepting Covid (being) here to stay two months ago and got a similarly high number who want to get on with life," said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Hawaii recently became the last state to drop all mask mandates. And last week, New York City formally permitted unvaccinated professional athletes to play in games within city limits — a remarkably timed ruling, considering Major League Baseball's Opening Day launches April 7, and the NBA and NHL playoffs begin the following week.
However, NYC Mayor Eric Adams' announcement came with controversy, since more than 1,400 unvaccinated city workers were fired from their respective jobs just a few months ago. But now, unvaccinated entertainers and professional athletes — most notably Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving — are free to play moving forward, without any restrictions.
Even with the relaxed national standards, noted epidemiologist Dr. Anthony Fauci has yet to embrace the notion of Americans mimicking their pre-pandemic lives.
"I don't want to use the word 'lockdown' as that has a charged element to it, but I believe that we must keep our eye on the pattern of what we’re seeing with infections right now," Fauci told BBC's Sunday Morning show, adding that "we need to be prepared for the possibility that we would have another variant that would come along and then things change."
"And if we do get a variance that does give us an uptick in cases and hospitalization, we should be prepared and flexible enough to pivot towards going back — at least temporarily — to a more rigid type of restrictions, such as requiring masks indoors," Fauci added.
COVID-related hospitalizations and deaths in the United States have steadily decreased in recent weeks, according to The New York Times.
On Monday, Texas reported the inpatient tally had dropped to 1,152, its lowest hospitalization count since April 2020.
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