Lenny Curry’s plea to Jacksonville: Wear a mask
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry takes off his mask at a press conference with Gov. Ron DeSantis, May 2020.

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Will locals heed the Mayor's words?

Though there has been no formal study of Jacksonville’s mask wearing habits during reopening, anecdotal evidence suggests that COVID-19 fears for many are distant memories

For Mayor Lenny Curry and a phalanx of hospital administrators, forgotten masks and other pandemic precautions present reasons for worry, and on Thursday they made their case to locals to cover their faces when social distancing isn’t possible.

Speaking Thursday at TIAA Bank Field, the Mayor introduced executives from the city’s hospitals, noting that “by continuing these measures in the days and weeks ahead,” the city will be positioned to “safely reopen the economy.”

“We cannot find a way to quarantine indefinitely,” Curry added, stressing the importance of “wearing a mask in places of dense population indoors.”

“This is not a political issue … we are not mandating this, it isn’t a police state,” Curry said, urging people who don’t wear masks not to “chide” those who are.

The Mayor talked about running the other day without a mask, and being chided for it, noting that he was running outside.

Curry also noted that his children may not like it, but wear a mask when they are with him. He hopes they wear them when he’s not around.

Hospital administrators described their institutions’ positions.

UF Health’s Leon Haley said “the masks matter.”

“If you and I don’t have a mask on, the risk of transmission is high,” Haley warned, urging “physical distance in closed spaces” and “handwashing” for those who have missed that advice over the last two-plus months.

Brett McClung, the CEO of Baptist Health, discussed the importance of cleaning and masks, and other “safety precautions” in the hospital setting, urging people to not put off necessary medical care because of COVID-19 panic.

Tom VanOsdol, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ascension Florida, extended the plea to those who need help with mental health.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski

One comment

  • Frankie M.

    May 28, 2020 at 9:39 am

    Who is the target audience for this press conference? I would guess Trump who chides people all the time for wearing masks while refusing to wear one himself. This is what passes for leadership these days.

    Also it’s a bit of a mixed message to open up summer camps while asking people to wear masks. Might lead some people to believe it’s unnecessary.

Comments are closed.


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