Sen. Bill Cassidy Says DeSantis Should Allow Local Officials to Impose Mask Mandates

Posted: Aug 08, 2021 2:45 PM
Sen. Bill Cassidy Says DeSantis Should Allow Local Officials to Impose Mask Mandates

Source: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said Sunday that he does not support Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis's new executive order that bars public schools, businesses and local governments from reinstating mask requirements.

"If a local community is having a — their ICU is full, and the people at the local schools see that they've got to make sure they stay open because otherwise children miss out for another year of school, and they put in policy, then the local officials should be listened to," Cassidy told Dana Bash on CNN’s "State of the Union."

"I don't want to top down from Washington, D.C. I don't want to top down from a governor's office," he continued.

DeSantis' recently signed ban on mask mandates comes amid a spike in COVID-19 cases across the United States due to the highly infectious delta variant. Florida has accounted for about 20 percent of the country's cases.

Local governments in the state were frustrated by the order as they were looking to reinstate policies that included requiring face coverings in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus as students return to school soon. The White House has also criticized DeSantis for the mask mandate restrictions.

After President Joe Biden told DeSantis to "get out of the way" of their efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus around the country, DeSantis fired back, telling the president to do his job.

"Why don’t you do your job?" DeSantis said during a press conference Wednesday. "Why don't you get this border secure? And until you do that, I don’t wanna hear a blip about COVID from you, thank you."

Cassidy went on to say that if his state endured high numbers of coronavirus cases, he would allow local officials to "make those decisions best for their community."

“When it comes to local conditions, if my hospital is full and my vaccination rate is low and infection rate is going crazy, we should allow local officials to make those decisions best for their community,” Cassidy said.

Cassidy's state of Louisiana is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases from the delta variant as well. The state suffered 6,116 new coronavirus cases on Friday alone. 

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