Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis defended a photo showing him maskless at Sunday’s Super Bowl in Tampa.
“Someone said, ‘Hey, you were at the Super Bowl without a mask,’” DeSantis told reporters Monday, according to Politico’s Marc Caputo. “But how the hell am I going to be able to drink a beer with a mask on? Come on. I had to watch the Bucs win.”
The image shows DeSantis sitting down without a mask in Raymond James Stadium while talking to an unknown individual less than six feet away from him. A second person is seen wearing a black mask in the suite next to DeSantis.
Caught DeSantis before he left an event and he brought up this picture on his own by saying, “Someone said, ‘hey, you were at the Super Bowl without a mask’ … but how the hell am I going to be able to drink a beer with a mask on? Come on. I had to watch the Bucs win.” https://t.co/OEDAeW2eGM
— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) February 8, 2021
Tampa’s mayor said she was frustrated that Buccaneer fans did not social distance Sunday night while celebrating in large crowds, following the team’s victory, according to the Associated Press. (RELATED: Media Outlets That Cheered Celebrations Of Joe Biden’s Victory Clutch Pearls At Large Crowds In Tampa Bay After The Super Bowl)
“It is a little frustrating because we have worked so hard,” Mayor Jane Castor said Monday. “At this point in dealing with COVID-19, there is a level of frustration when you see that.”
Before the big game, Castor ordered a mask mandate throughout the city, which would require face-coverings in indoor areas. She claimed that there had been “a 900 percent increase in the last month” of COVID-19 cases in Tampa.
The number of virus cases in Florida has reached 1.7 million cases and surpassing over 27,000 deaths, according to the New York Times.