State Watch

Florida governor doesn't wear mask to Trump rally

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisIt will be Vice (or) President Harris against Gov. DeSantis in 2024 — bet on it DeSantis, Pence tied in 2024 Republican poll Top Florida Democrat calls on FBI to investigate DeSantis over vaccine distribution MORE (R) high-fived people in the crowd at President TrumpDonald TrumpUS, South Korea reach agreement on cost-sharing for troops Graham: Trump can make GOP bigger, stronger, or he 'could destroy it' Biden nominates female generals whose promotions were reportedly delayed under Trump MORE's rally in Sanford, Fla., Monday evening while not wearing a mask, just days after Trump himself was released from the hospital after suffering from COVID-19.

Video of the event shows an enthusiastic and unmasked DeSantis greeting and high-fiving numerous attendees of the rally, only some of whom wore face coverings.

Trump campaign officials frequently urge rally attendees to practice social distancing and wear masks, though neither is required to attend. All attendees are given temperature screenings before entry.

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The president contracted COVID-19 following an event at the White House announcing the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, an event that has been blamed for sickening numerous White House and campaign staffers, as well as several senators.

Trump's rally in Sanford Monday evening was his first in-person campaign rally since his release from Walter Reed Medical Center the previous week. Before the rally he could be seen dancing to background music with the crowd and proclaiming his own good health.

“I feel so powerful,” Trump told reporters upon leaving Washington on Monday. “I’ll kiss everyone in that audience. I’ll kiss the guys and the beautiful women. Just give you a big fat kiss.”

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Florida itself has struggled to bring its rate of new COVID-19 cases down, and on Sunday reported more than 5,000 new cases of the virus. The state's 7-day average of new case numbers has remained above 2,000 per day for months after peaking in July. DeSantis last month lifted coronavirus restrictions on bars and restaurants in the state.