Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was caught mask-less in a photo inside an executive suite at Raymond James Stadium at the Super Bowl. He was speaking with someone else less than six feet away. When he was questioned about it, he gave the perfect answer.
Politico’s Marc Caputo tweeted on the subject, stating that DeSantis mentioned the picture of himself at the big event circulating on the internet.
DeSantis told Caputo, “Someone said, ‘hey, you were at the Super Bowl without a mask’ … but how the hell am I going to be able to drink a beer with a mask on? Come on. I had to watch the Bucs win.”
DeSantis has received a great deal of praise for his handling of the pandemic and the rollout of the vaccine program in his state. Sunday, he said on “Fox & Friends Weekend” that allowing businesses and schools to remain open during the pandemic has helped “lift people up.”
Caught DeSantis before he left an event and he brought up this picture on his own by saying, “Someone said, ‘hey, you were at the Super Bowl without a mask’ … but how the hell am I going to be able to drink a beer with a mask on? Come on. I had to watch the Bucs win.” https://t.co/OEDAeW2eGM
— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) February 8, 2021
“As other states have tried to lock people down, we’ve tried to lift people up,” DeSantis stated.
“You look around the country, they still are debating whether schools should be open,” the governor said. “We’ve had schools open the whole year.”
“They talk about whether businesses should be open. Every business in Florida has a right to operate,” DeSantis proclaimed.
“They talk about all these people unemployed. In Florida, every single person has a right to earn a living and our unemployment rate is lower than the national average, even though we are so tourism-dependent [and] that market hasn’t recovered at all.”
(Source: Fox News)
According to Fox News, DeSantis claims that Florida has “less COVID mortality per capita than the national average, 25 states or higher, so the lockdowns don’t work on their own, but they cause catastrophic damage to society.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requested that fans watch the game from home with their families. They said that fans who were planning on actually attending the game should “stomp, clap, or bring hand-held noisemakers” instead of cheering for their team or chanting their enthusiasm during the face-off.
(Source: News Now/Fox)
Monday, the mayor of Tampa made it clear that she was frustrated after observing fans celebrating the Buccaneers’ win while not donning masks or practicing social distancing. She issued an order for fans to wear masks at Super Bowl parties. According to the Orlando Sentinel, that order was pretty much ignored.
“It is a little frustrating because we have worked so hard,” Tampa Mayor Jane Castor stated during a news conference with the Super Bowl Host Committee. “At this point in dealing with COVID-19, there is a level of frustration when you see that.”
The gatherings were videoed and went viral on social media. Groups of mostly mask-less fans and standing-room-only sports bars made the rounds and 200,000 masks were given out ahead of the game. The mayor said that “a majority” of people and businesses followed the rules.
“I’m proud to say the majority of individuals that I saw out and about enjoying the festivities associated with the Super Bowl were complying,” the mayor said in a seemingly obvious reversal of opinion. “They understood their level of personal responsibility and they were doing the right thing. I’m very proud of that.”
In contrast, DeSantis is against a mask mandate and has been from the beginning: “I’m opposed to mandates period. I don’t think they work,” he stated in November. “People in Florida wear [masks] when they go out. They don’t have to be strung up by a bayonet to do it.”
The NFL capped those attending the game at less than 25,000 and masks were required. The stadium normally holds approximately 66,000 fans.