By Alan Mozes HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, July 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- In the midst of a pandemic, many Americans still view face mask mandates as an assault on their personal freedoms, rather than a means of protecting themselves and others from COVID-19.

But a group of researchers out of Duke University say the mask backlash can be turned around -- as long as efforts to do so are grounded in empathy, not judgment.

As coronavirus cases in the United States soar, face mask mandates have been issued by a growing number of cities, states and national retailers. The mandates make sense, health experts say.

"I think face masking is a very important part [of curbing the spread of COVID-19] and ought to be done in this epidemic," Dr. Robert Brook, distinguished chair of RAND Corporation's health care services program, said in a HD Live! interview. "It's one of the few things we can do that will slow the pandemic."

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