The record-setting pace of new coronavirus cases in Florida has been met with mixed signals from Republican leaders over how far to push Floridians to wear masks. Monday was an exposition in how a piece of cloth has vexed the party of freedom and personal responsibility.
In Jacksonville, Republican Mayor Lenny Curry made it mandatory to wear a mask in indoor public spaces as the city looks to contain the outbreak ahead of the August Republican National Convention. Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, a Republican, ripped mask mandates during a Fox News interview and suggested leaders should “inform us (but) stop telling us what to do.” Gov. Ron DeSantis has said he won’t stand in the way of local rules regarding masks while simultaneously suggesting that policing facial-wear would “backfire.”