The United States continues to grapple with the virus that's killed nearly 500 thousand Americans in one year, but a formidable obstacle to conquering it is the public willingness—or lack thereof—to abide by safety guidelines and mandates designed to slow the spread.
In the earlier stages of the outbreak, as more information became known about its characteristics and spread—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) amended its guidelines to endorse the wearing of masks or other facial coverings. Its reversal came after scientists learned of the ubiquity of asymptomatic transmission.
Then-President Donald Trump said at the time that he didn't intend to wear a mask, despite the CDC guidelines. He frequently cast doubt on masks' effectiveness and mocked those who wore them. His staff and supporters followed suit, rendering masks as a political stance, rather than a simple safety measure.
Even a year into the pandemic and with Trump no longer in the White House, this skepticism remains rampant.
He continued this pattern today in a recent tweet.
So if masks work so well... why haven’t they?— Steven Crowder (@Steven Crowder)1612964589.0
Crowder probably thought he'd made a good point, but people soon pointed out that it was the very skepticism and politicization of masks by him and his peers that made millions hesitant or outright unwilling to wear them.
Twitter users were merciless in their replies.
@scrowder Because of people like you.— Hector Oseguera, Esq. (@Hector Oseguera, Esq.)1612985579.0
@scrowder conservatives: I'M NOT WEARING A MASK!!! FREEDOM!!! MY RIGHTS!!!! also conservatives: why hasn't wearing masks worked? 🤪🤪🤪— raider of the lost snark™ (@raider of the lost snark™)1612971778.0
@scrowder Cause half the population are refusing to wear them..?— Jordan🇮🇪 (@Jordan🇮🇪)1612964636.0
@scrowder Because for "some reason" about half the country thinks it's somehow fascist, and refuse to wear masks in an effective way.— AmRepSupCap (@AmRepSupCap)1612964771.0
@scrowder I mean, I don't know if you noticed, but a significant portion of the American public has refused to wear… https://t.co/uU8fRhlPUJ— Chrisi (@Chrisi)1612965592.0
@scrowder They have. They do. If you can't process even the most basic science or even sensibility, they're the rea… https://t.co/oXVIXWKaR1— MsMariaBlack Covid Cave Dweller (@MsMariaBlack Covid Cave Dweller)1612979325.0
Soon, people were responding with questions of their own.
If seatbelts work so well ... why are people dying in car crashes? https://t.co/0giODkM0dt— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1612969042.0
So if education works so well, why hasn't it? https://t.co/QtaAYqnjC2— Dave 🇺🇸🌏 👨🏻🎓 (@Dave 🇺🇸🌏 👨🏻🎓)1612971481.0
If medicine works so well, why do people still fall ill? https://t.co/VkkYF29oi2— child of cookery (@child of cookery)1612987071.0
Data has repeatedly shown that masks are effective in reducing chances of transmission.