Story at a glance

  • CPAC executive director Dan Schneider and CPAC planner Carly Conley took the stage at the annual conservative conference to ask guests to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • “I know this might sound like a little bit of a downer, but we also believe in property rights, and this is a private hotel,” organizers said.
  • Their comments were met with boos and groans from the crowd, with at least one person shouting “Freedom!”

Organizers of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that kicked off in Orlando, Fla., Friday morning were booed by the crowd after asking attendees to wear masks in compliance with the venue’s coronavirus policies. 

Following a speech from Ohio Republican Josh Mandel, CPAC executive director Dan Schneider and CPAC planner Carly Conley took the stage at the annual conservative conference with a plea for those in attendance. 


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“I know this might sound like a little bit of a downer, but we also believe in property rights, and this is a private hotel,” Schneider told the crowd at the Hyatt Regency Orlando hotel where the event is taking place. 

“And we believe in the rule of law. So we need to comply with the laws of this county that we’re in. A private hotel just like your house gets to set its own rules,” he said. 

“So please everyone, when you’re in a ballroom when you’re seated, you should still be wearing a mask,” Conley asked. 

Their comments were met with boos and groans from the crowd, with at least one person shouting “Freedom!”

“So we need to comply with their rules. So thank you all for putting on your masks. I wear a mask when I’m in the halls, and we’re going to comply with their rules,” he said. 

The organizers received some applause as they walked off the stage. 

The request came after several conservative speakers had criticized coronavirus restrictions put in place by Democratic officials across the country. 

The issue of mask-wearing to curb the spread of the coronavirus has become politicized in the U.S., with many conservatives railing against their use and Democrats advocating for widespread mask use. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises people wear masks in public settings and says mask use is a critical step to curb the spread of COVID-19.


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Published on Feb 26, 2021