45% Aware of New CDC Mask Guidelines; 44% Believe Old Rules Still in Place

Forty-five percent (45%) of voters are aware of the new CDC guidelines on mask wearing. The agency recently said that those who are vaccinated no longer need to wear masks indoors. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 44% mistakenly believe that the older CDC guidelines remain in effect, guidelines that call for everyone to wear masks in a large social setting such as a restaurant or a bar. Eleven percent (11%) are not sure.

Most Republican voters (56%) are aware of the new CDC guidelines. Most Democrats (57%) are not. Independent voters are evenly divided. Given this partisan divide, it is interesting to note that earlier results found that Democrats were overwhelmingly likely to view the CDC guidelines as reliable and fact based. Republicans, by a 2-to-1 margin saw the agency as partisan and political.

This is consistent with other data showing that people’s underlying levels of caution and concern shape how they view the CDC. Overall, these findings suggest that CDC guidelines have little impact on individual behavior. Only 33% of voters claim to have followed news about CDC guidelines very closely. Additionally, as of a month ago, 66% of voters had already ignored CDC guidelines by taking part in activities discouraged by the agency.

The latest survey found that most who would not be comfortable going to a restaurant or bar incorrectly believe that the CDC still recommends wearing masks in such settings. Most who are comfortable going out to such locations are aware of the CDC guidelines.

Those who have already been vaccinated are evenly divided between those with a correct understanding of the current CDC policy and those who are clinging to the older guidelines.

Additional data from the survey will be released later today and tomorrow.

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Note: Neither Scott Rasmussen, ScottRasmussen.com, nor RMG Research, Inc. have any affiliation with Rasmussen Reports. While Scott Rasmussen founded that firm, he left more than seven years ago and has had no involvement since that time.


The survey of 1,500 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from May 20-22, 2021. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 216 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Online respondents were selected from a list of Registered Voters and through a process of Random Digital Engagement. Certain quotas were applied, and the sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, internet usage, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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