DeSantis ‘COVID theater’ view on face masks gets attention

MIAMI – Dr. Hany Attalah said on Thursday that it’s important to remember that the use of face masks has helped to reduce the spread of the coronavirus in Miami-Dade County.

Attalah, Jackson Memorial Hospital’s chief medical officer, said he is still wearing face masks because “scientifically speaking” the layered prevention strategies have worked.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s risk assessment of Miami-Dade is in the medium category, which does not include a recommendation to wear a face mask indoors in public.

“I think we are all happy that there is light potentially at the end of the horizon, so we can potentially stop wearing masks so much,” Attalah said.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ choice of words on Wednesday to ask a group of students to remove their face masks prompted different responses nationwide. The students were on a stage, lined up behind the podium where he was to speak in front of reporters.

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“You do not have to wear those masks. I mean, please take them off. Honestly, it’s not doing anything. We have got to stop with this COVID theater. If you want to wear it, fine, but this is ridiculous,” DeSantis told the students.

After his comments went viral, DeSantis tweeted. “The political science show cannot go on. It’s curtain call for COVID theater.”

Dr. Joseph Ladapo, Florida’s surgeon general, agreed with DeSantis. He himself faced criticism for refusing to wear a face mask while in the office of a legislator who was undergoing cancer treatment.

“Most people think that these things are saving lives. Randomized clinical trials done during the pandemic, what did they show? One found nothing; zero benefits,” Ladapo said during a news conference.

During Thursday’s episode of The View, Whoopi Goldberg sent a message to DeSantis.

“You say people have choice, give them the choice and stop mocking,” she said.

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