'We're dying here,' Florida newspaper says in pleading with governor to issue a statewide mask mandate

The Sun Sentinel is pleading with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to issue a mask mandate for the state.

Posted: Aug 2, 2020 1:51 PM
Updated: Aug 2, 2020 1:51 PM

A South Florida newspaper is pleading with Gov. Ron DeSantis to do more amid the surge in coronavirus cases and deaths spreading across Florida.

The Sun Sentinel editorial board asked him to issue a statewide face mask mandate in an editorial titled, "Help us out, Gov. DeSantis. We're dying here."

"Help us all out. Far better that you require people to wear masks in public than to continue fostering conditions that will force another shutdown," the editorial said.

"Your refusal to impose a mask order -- a requirement now in effect in 32 other states -- is out-of-touch with the mainstream. A new Quinnipiac poll found 79 percent of Floridians support a mask requirement, including 60 percent of Republicans. If that's not a mandate, what is?"

DeSantis encourages people to wear masks but is leaving it up to local governments to issue mask mandates, saying a state mandate punishable by law could backfire.

The governor said that some local sheriffs have said they would not enforce such a law and there are parts of the state where a mandate wouldn't make sense. Businesses also have the right to ask customers to wear masks, he said

Florida set a new record for the number of deaths in a day for the fourth day in a row. The 257 deaths reported on Friday is the highest the state has reported since the pandemic began, according to data from the Florida Department of Health.

"Your daily upbeat message is hopelessly at odds with what Floridians are going through," the editorial said. "You make it sound like everything is headed in the right direction. But it's not."

A study has shown that wearing a face covering or mask is the most effective way to limit the person-to-person spread of coronavirus, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that everyone should wear them when around other people in public.

Florida reported 9,007 new coronavirus cases in the state on Friday, which brings the total to at least 470,300, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Florida is second in total cases only to California and ahead of New York, which was once considered the epicenter of the pandemic in the US.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 578946

Reported Deaths: 10523
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2108744999
Riverside41983820
Orange40527724
San Bernardino36072546
San Diego32975594
Kern24995183
Fresno17846171
San Joaquin13870235
Alameda13631205
Santa Clara12962207
Sacramento12274179
Tulare11549198
Stanislaus10264169
Imperial9867244
Contra Costa9787146
Ventura874093
San Francisco769267
Santa Barbara699672
San Mateo6431122
Merced573670
Monterey549437
Marin540481
Kings445356
Solano427441
Sonoma375350
Madera246339
Placer237724
San Luis Obispo227817
Yolo183444
Santa Cruz12876
Butte12388
Napa112911
Sutter9967
San Benito7654
El Dorado7552
Lassen6830
Yuba6664
Mendocino47210
Shasta46910
Glenn4363
Colusa3965
Nevada3571
Tehama3031
Humboldt2864
Lake2402
Amador1853
Mono1581
Tuolumne1552
Calaveras1471
Inyo1063
Siskiyou1020
Del Norte1000
Mariposa622
Plumas360
Modoc50
Trinity50
Sierra40
Alpine20
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