Rural Kentucky writer blames Trump, toxic masculinity, for many red state residents’ dislike of wearing masks

When Kentucky slowly began to reopen businesses a few weeks ago, Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat, asked all Kentuckians to wear masks in public spaces. But many refused, seeming to view the notion as weak or foolish.

The decision to wear a mask or not has become a cultural and political flash point in Kentucky and many other red states, rural Kentuckian Teri Carter writes in an op-ed for The Washington Post.

President Trump has been a poor role model by not wearing a mask or following social distancing protocols at multiple public appearances, Carter writes, behavior she believes is driven by toxic masculinity.

Carter correlates Trump’s refusal to wear a mask with rising pandemic rates in red states: “Infection counts are rising in Alabama, and Mississippi, Utah, Wisconsin, South Carolina and Arizona all set records for daily case totals Friday. Not coincidentally, those are all states where, like Kentucky, Trump remains popular.”

“In red states such as Kentucky, where allegiance to Trump so often trumps all else, I pray we don’t see a spike in sickness and death simply because wearing a mask in Trump country has been deemed ‘weak’ and ‘unmanly’ by the example of the president himself,” Carter writes.

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