The Centers for Disease Control said in May that vaccinated people could safely go without masks in most places, but a large portion of Americans are still wearing masks as often as they did before, a new poll from Monmouth University suggests.
More than one in four poll respondents, or 38%, said their masking habits remain largely unchanged since the new guidance was announced, as well as 41% of respondents who are already vaccinated against coronavirus, according to the poll released Wednesday.
Political party affiliation appears to be a key factor in the split: vaccinated Democrats (51%) were far more likely than vaccinated Republicans (23%) to continue wearing masks about as often as they did before.
Of the more than 60% of respondents who said they have at least some trust in the CDC guidance, Democrats (80%) were overwhelmingly more likely than Republicans (46%) to say they trust the new guidelines.
According to the poll, another 34% of respondents reported wearing their masks less frequently and 12% have eschewed masking entirely since the CDC issued the new guidance, while 15% said they rarely wore masks anyway.
Wearing face masks, which scientific studies show is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of coronavirus, has been heavily politicized since the early months of the pandemic. Former President Trump avoided being seen wearing a mask for several months at the onset of the pandemic before calling them “patriotic” in July 2020.