Advocates release video urging DeSantis to implement statewide protective mask requirement

July 9, 2020

Contact: Damien Filer / 850-212-1858 /

TALLAHASSEE – Today, with a growing surge in cases putting Florida front and center in the fight against coronavirus, Florida Watch, in partnership with Progress Florida, released a video slamming Gov. Ron DeSantis for his failed leadership during the crisis, and calling for a statewide mask requirement to protect citizens from the deadly disease.

“Florida has become a global hotspot for COVID-19 with more than 200,000 cases and 3,400 dead due to the failed leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis,” the video begins. “Health care experts are urging citizens to cover their faces in public, but Gov. DeSantis refused to order a statewide protective mask requirement even though health care experts estimate it would save the lives of nearly 8,000 Floridians by October alone. But DeSantis is heeding this advice about as well as he is wearing a mask himself.”

The video then shows DeSantis putting a mask on sideways during an April press conference, before taking him to task for “intentionally manipulating the state’s data and misleading Floridians” on the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Gov. DeSantis needs to quit playing politics with this deadly disease and with the health of Floridians,” said Josh Weierbach, Executive Director of Florida Watch. “We’re calling on the governor to heed the advice of health experts who universally agree that the widespread use of masks will save thousands of lives.”

The video ends by urging viewers to call Gov. DeSantis “and urge him to do the right thing by ordering a statewide protective mask requirement.”

The video may be viewed here.