The Mask Debate: How Did We Get Here?

Jim Gudas
July 07, 2020 - 5:16 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A psychologist explains why some people refuse to wear face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19, and why some of those people are angry about masks.

Brad Sagarin is a professor of social and evolutionary psychology at Northern Illinois University. He said there's a general reason why some people are so opposed to wearing face coverings: Many people don't like to be told what to do.

Listen Live Now on WBBM Newsradio

He says more needs to be done to persuade people to wear them, rather than ordering them to do so.


Sagarin says another reason some people refuse to wear face coverings is that it's become a political issue, especially among supporters of President Trump.

“Mask-wearing is not a liberal or conservative thing,” he said. “It’s not a Democratic or a Republican thing. It should, ideally, be portrayed as an American thing.”

Sagarin says if the President showed more support for wearing face coverings, that would go a long way toward getting more people to wear them.