'(Masks) might wind up helping Trump's poll numbers': Nate Silver

538's Nate Silver on whether or not masks are the best way to reopen the economy.
2:24 | 07/05/20

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Transcript for '(Masks) might wind up helping Trump's poll numbers': Nate Silver
I'm all for masks. I think masks were good. If I were in group of people and I was close -- You would wear one? I would. I have. People have seen me wearing one. I had mask on. I sort of liked the way I looked, okay? It was okay. It was a dark black mask. I thought it looked okay. I looked like the lone ranger. President trump appearing to endorse wearing face masks even though he's very publicly chosen not to do so. Masks have proven to be one of the most contentious issues throughout the pandemic. Stemming from the government's own conflicting guidance early on, and now as a surge of coronavirus cases threaten to force closures of businesses again, it turns out masks might be the smartest economic and political policy. Here's fivethirtyeight's Nate silver. In encouraging people to wear masks, it could be one of the smartest things that president trump could do to help his re-election chances. Here's why a change in the president's tone on masks could be so important. We basically have three choices. One, we can wear masks and get somewhat back to normal. Two, we cannot wear masks be you but stay at home. Not so great for the economy. Or three, pretend everything is normal and continue to watch covid cases grow. By the way, that great jobs report this month with more than 4.8 million jobs added, that reflected conditions in early June when the pandemic was still ebbing. But since then, covid cases have nearly doubled to around nearly 50,000 per day. The resurgence of the virus isn't going to be good for a v-shaped recovery. The president should choose door number one, wear more masks. They clearly can't hurt and might help a lot. A study by Goldman Sachs this week found a mask mandate could save the equivalent of 5% of gdp. They also find that in states having mask requirements cases are growing less than half as fast compared to states without one. Meanwhile, 56% of voters now disapprove of the president's handling of covid. So not only do I buy that masks are the best way to help the economy they might help a little bit with trump's flagging poll numbers, too. Our thanks to Nate.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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