Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis said it is time to stop wearing mask and all that “COVID theatre” during the news conference at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
The top Florida official on Wednesday admonished a group of students for wearing face masks at an indoor news conference, saying it was time to stop what he called “this Covid theatre”.
DeSantis is known for his opposition of face mask and immunization mandates, he is running for re-election and is considered to be a potential 2024 GOP presidential candidate. On Wednesday, governor approached the students and asked them to remove their masks as they awaited the start of the press event.
“You do not have to wear those masks. I mean, please take them off. Honestly, it’s not doing anything,” DeSantis said.
He added that it is time to stop with ‘this Covid theatre’. “So if you wanna wear it, fine, but this is ridiculous, he added on Wednesday. The incident drew criticism of Ron DeSantis over social media.
Commenting on the press conference and governor’s expression, his spokesperson Christina Pushaw tried to defend the Florida official: “I mean, someone had to say it, after 2 years of propaganda that terrified and manipulated young people. Breathe free, feel safe and be happy,” she wrote on Twitter.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention late last month eased its masking guidelines, though is still recommending masks indoors in areas it considers high risk. Hillsborough County, where the college is located, is deemed high risk by the CDC.