Two Florida advocacy groups have joined the fight for a statewide face mask mandate, encouraging people to call Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office and urge him to use his executive powers to save lives.
In a video released Thursday, Florida Watch, described as a “progressive digital first organization,” and the nonprofit Progress Florida, cited medical experts recommending use of face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic that “would save the lives of nearly 8,000 Floridians by October alone.”
Florida Watch said in a Facebook post Thursday:
“The virus is rapidly spreading and it’s time for real leadership. Call DeSantis today at 850-717-9337: tell him it’s time to enact a statewide protective mask requirement. Then, share this video to spread the word.”
The groups slammed DeSantis in the video for “failed leadership” and said that “Florida has become a global hotspot for COVID-19.”
Josh Weierbach is executive director of Florida Watch, and has been active in Democratic Party political campaigns, according to his LinkedIn page.
He said in a written statement that “Gov. DeSantis needs to quit playing politics with this deadly disease and with the health of Floridians.”
The campaign launch came as the state’s number of COVID-19 cases has risen to more than 200,000, and some state lawmakers have requested that DeSantis issue an immediate statewide mask mandate.
Last week, several House Democrats released a letter addressed to DeSantis, stressing the effectiveness of face masks to combat COVID-19. Here is a previous Florida Phoenix report on that issue.
“Leading medical experts from across the globe have stressed that using face masks reduces exposure to the virus, potentially saving countless lives,” the lawmakers wrote.
“This is not a partisan issue; this is an issue of life and death.”