Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) is not impressed with the way Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is handling the surge of COVID cases in the Sunshine State, and he said Sunday on CNN that the governor should allow local officials in Florida to make more decisions and be threatening communities that want to impose mask mandates.

During an appearance on “State of the Union,” Cassidy — who just so happens to be a physician — was asked about DeSantis and his executive order banning local officials from enforcing mask mandates as the number of coronavirus cases continues to skyrocket in Florida, with host Dana Bask inquiring:

“Some governors, like Ron DeSantis in Florida, Greg Abbott in Texas — they’re blocking imposing restrictions like mask mandates. The virus is surging in those states, as in yours. You are a doctor, you are an official. Shouldn’t local officials be allowed to make mask mandates?”

Cassidy replied:

“I’m a conservative. You govern best when you govern closest to the people being governed. If a local community is having — their ICU is full and people at the local schools see they’ve got to make sure they stay open because otherwise children will miss out for another year of school and they put in policies, then the local official should be listened to. That is a conservative principle.”

Bash then asked:

“You disagree with Governor DeSantis?”

The senator responded:

“I do disagree with Governor DeSantis. Local officials should have control here. I don’t want top-down from Washington, D.C. I don’t want top-down from a governor’s office. Sometimes in cases of national defense, things like that. But if my hospitals are full, vaccination rates are low and the infection rate is going crazy, local officials should be allowed to make those decisions.”

Florida currently leads the nation in new COVID infections. On Friday, Florida had 23,903 new COVID-19 cases and 93 deaths. Clearly, what DeSantis is doing isn’t working, and yet he continues to ignore the advice of medial experts and pretend everything is fine. It’s one of many reasons Floridians need to dump the governor next November and get a governor who gives a damn whether people live or die.

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