One of the Republican Party's most prominent rising stars is mocking new government recommendations calling for more widespread use of masks to blunt a coronavirus surge.
“Did you not get the CDC’s memo?” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis joked Wednesday, before an almost entirely unmasked crowd in a Salt Lake City hotel ballroom. “I don’t see you guys complying.”
DeSantis announced there won't be any new pandemic restrictions in his state, which is a COVID hotspot. And he plans to issue an executive order to let parents decide whether their kids wear face masks at school this fall.
This is at odds with the CDC's updated guidance, which now says everyone should wear masks at school regardless of vaccination status.
In its announcement, the CDC cited troubling new — thus far unpublished — research that found that fully vaccinated people can spread the delta variant just like the unvaccinated, putting those who haven’t received the shots or who have compromised immune systems at heightened risk.
Broward County, Florida, plans to follow new CDC guidance, setting up a showdown with DeSantis.
Additional reporting by the Associated Press.