Republican lawmakers in Florida say mask mandate not likely, despite Biden push

Joe Biden has been talking about mask mandates since one of his townhall events in September. FOX 35 spoke with two Republican lawmakers who say those mandates probably won’t fly in Florida.

For months, Joe Biden’s message has been about unity, including unity when it comes to wearing masks to stop the spread of coronavirus. 

“A mask is not a political statement, but it is a good way to start pulling the country together,” he said in a press briefing on Monday.

But, some Floridian lawmakers say not really. 

“Reaching out is one thing, but reaching out and demanding that you do something that you didn’t choose to do and that you don’t have to do is not bipartisanship,” said State Representative Randy Fine, (R) Palm Bay.

Rep. Fine is referring to Joe Biden’s plan to call all 50 governors in the coming days to encourage them to impose statewide mask mandates. Biden made the pledge at a townhall a few months ago. He went on to say if the governors don’t comply, he’ll call mayors next.

Governor Ron DeSantis never imposed a statewide mandate in Florida. 

“The fact that Joe Biden calls him is not going to make the governor go, ‘Oh wow, now let’s do a mandate,’” Rep. Fine said.

Brevard County Commissioner Curt Smith agrees. 

Brevard County also never imposed a mask mandate. 

“I don’t think he’ll get very far in Florida with that. I’m sure Governor DeSantis isn’t going to adapt or adopt a mask policy,” said Commissioner Smith, (R) Brevard County.

Commissioner Smith says his sister had COVID-19 and was in the hospital for 20 days. 

Rep. Fine and his family had COVID earlier this year. Both Smith and Fine wear masks, but are against a mandate.

“I think it’s a prudent thing to do to wear and it’s your personal choice. I don’t think somebody should be telling you you should or somebody should be telling you that you shouldn’t,” Commissioner Smith said.

“I also think they’re completely ineffective because a law without enforcement is meaningless,” Rep. Fine said.

FOX 35 reached out to the governor’s office for comment but has not yet heard back.