Florida's Gov. Ron DeSantis is now fundraising off a recent moment caught on camera where he scolded a group of university students for wearing masks. The students were standing on display behind his lectern and in front of cameras at an event he was speaking at.
DeSantis called the mask-wearing "theater," but has now turned that moment into a campaign fundraising video. As Politico reported, DeSantis' campaign sent out a Thursday campaign email trying to garner donations, urging voters to do so “before the truth is silenced.”
Gov. DeSantis was at the University of South Florida (USF) on Wednesday to discuss cybersecurity, but as he walked up to the lectern, he criticized students for wearing masks, as WFTS reported.
"You do not have to wear those masks. Please take them off," DeSantis said. "Honestly it's not doing anything. We need to stop with this theater. If you want to wear it fine, but this is ridiculous."
USF says masks are optional. On their website, the university says each individual's decision should be respected.
In the campaign email, DeSantis defended himself saying, “While in Tampa, I told a group of students masks were ridiculous, and they didn’t have to wear them if they didn’t want to,” the email said, as Politico reports. “Predictably, the leftist propagandists in our media had a meltdown and called me a ‘bully’ for allowing children to breathe fresh air.”
The CDC says wearing cloth masks lowers the odds of catching COVID by 56%. With surgical masks that number jumps to 66%, and with N-95s or KN-95s that number is 83% percent.
Overall, the CDC says people who always wear a mask in indoor public settings are less likely to test positive for COVID-19. The CDC dropped its more strict mask recommendations for most of the country recently.