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Why some Americans won't wear a face mask in public

A psychologist told NBC News many people are suffering from "mental fatigue," while another expert said some just don't like being told what to do.

ATLANTA — A face mask. Some people wear them at the recommendation of medical experts, while others don't.

Jacqueline Gollan, a psychologist, told NBC News many people are suffering from "mental fatigue," and go without wearing one because it’s a shortcut.

Elizabeth Dorrance Hall, a Communications professor said in the same article, “in general, some people just don’t like being told what to do.”

A couple of psychologists didn’t want to be interviewed on-camera by 11Alive for this story, because they’ve said the face mask issue has now turned political instead of scientific and can be seen as a touchy issue.

Vice President Mike Pence was asked why he didn’t wear a mask during a recent visit to Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic.

He defended his decision, saying he’s tested on a regular basis.

RELATED: Vice President Pence comes under fire for going maskless at Mayo Clinic

Credit: NBC News

"When the CDC issued guidelines it was to make sure that people that have contracted the coronavirus and may not have had symptoms wouldn't unintentionally convey it to others. And so, the fact that I am tested regularly and people around me are all tested regularly, I knew that it was not a risk for me," Pence explained.

Some experts theorize, wearing a face covering is not seen as a comfortable, everyday experience in America, like it may be in other countries.

Dr. Adrian Hyzler, a global medical expert with Healix International, said it will take a cultural shift, not a government enforcement, that will make people more comfortable with wearing them.

"Once you reach that critical mass of most people wearing them, people who don't wear them will be seen as being irresponsible and helping spread the virus," Hyzler said.

The psychologist added, just because someone isn’t wearing a mask doesn’t mean they don’t care about their health.

As Gollan told NBC News,” Sometimes, it's a matter of people thinking that wearing a mask doesn't work.”

11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus.  We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information.  

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