Americans’ aversion to masks is holding back the economy

The aversion of many Americans to wearing a thin piece of cloth across their faces is restraining an already-shaky economic rebound.

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July 13, 2020 - 9:19 AM

President Donald Trump, middle, wears a mask as he visits Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on Saturday, July 11, 2020. (Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

The aversion of many Americans to wearing a thin piece of cloth across their faces is restraining an already-shaky economic rebound.

In Texas, the second most-populous state and a hotspot of the resurgent COVID-19, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on July 2 ordered mask-wearing in a reversal of his earlier opposition to enforcement. He said on local television this week that face coverings will prevent “having our economy shut down again.”

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan said Friday that U.S. growth would be faster if all Americans wore masks. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. estimates a national mask mandate could prevent the U.S. from losing almost 5% of its gross domestic product.

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