Doctors push for statewide mask mandate

Many are now urging the governor to mandate wearing face masks in public.

A group of doctors brought their COVID concerns to the governor's mansion, speaking out quite clearly on one issue.

"Wearing a mask is a no-brainer. It works. It’s effective."

The group, called Physicians for Social Responsibility, is urging the governor to sign an executive order mandating masks.

They sent a letter to the governor last week and stood on his doorstep Tuesday morning.

"Personal responsibility and voluntary efforts to wear a mask here in Florida, in North Florida, is not working because we see these overwhelming infection numbers," said Dr. Ronald Saff, a board member for Physicians for Social Responsibility.

But if you ask the governor, "At the end of the day we should be trusting people to make good decisions. Floridians have shown they can do that," said Governor Ron DeSantis.

The governor at a news conference Tuesday blamed the steady statewide increase in COVID cases on additional testing.

He encouraged individual businesses to enforce whatever mask-wearing rules they want, but did not commit to statewide enforcement.

"In terms of forcing that under penalty of criminal law, we’re not going to be doing that. I think it would be applied unevenly," DeSantis said.

Osceola County has had a mask mandate since April.

The county saw a rise in cases, but not as much as some neighboring counties, like Orange County.

Doctors still stand by their push.

"One case in Florida every 31 seconds is scary and it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s really not what I think. It’s what the science tells us," Dr. Staff said.