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Rick Scott demands social distancing, masks for Republican National Convention

Limited arena? Senator says yes, for safety’s sake.

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott continues to sound coronavirus cautions ahead of the Republican National Convention coming to Jacksonville in August.

The Senator, who has expressed consistent concern that the fight against COVID-19 is not over, said on the Fox News Radio Brian Kilmeade Show Tuesday that conventioneers would have to “figure out” social distancing and masks.

“You’re going to have to,” Scott said. “We have to wear masks.”

Jacksonville’s Mayor may disagree, as his city is not close to issuing a mask order despite daily rates of positive tests flirting with 10% in recent days.

They’re going to have to figure out how to do this to keep people safe,” the Senator added, saying he “expects every family to do this across the state.”

When asked if capacity should be halved, the Senator wouldn’t commit to the number, but he did commit to the concept.

We do it at the Capitol. We don’t stay close to each other. They’re going to have to do the same thing in the arena. Spread people out to make sure they’re doing social distancing,” Scott said. “They’re going to have to figure out how to do it.”

The Senator was gifted an opportunity to opine on Florida’s outbreak, but he did not attack the current Governor.

“No one knows yet” why the disease is surging in the state, but Scott expressed confidence that “the state has put out as much information as they can.” 

Whether that’s a consensus position is an open question, with numerous questions raised about data related to hospital capacity and ICU use in recent weeks.

Scott has given increasingly frequent interviews where Florida’s battle with coronavirus suppression has been a major focus.

On Monday, he made some of the same points about the realities of a Republican National Convention staged during a pandemic.

“I like everything to be in Florida but we have to do it safely,” Scott said, offering yet another rebuke to the idea of a 2016 style convention with attendees shoulder to shoulder and not wearing masks.

“Let’s try to get back to normal as fast as possible but do it safely so we don’t have an uptick of cases,” Scott added.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at AG@FloridaPolitics.com

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