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'Stop with this COVID theater': DeSantis tells students to remove masks at news conference

Posted at 2:52 PM, Mar 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-02 15:14:11-05

TAMPA, Fla. (WTXL) — Before a news conference about cybersecurity in Tampa Wednesday afternoon, Governor Ron DeSantis told students attending the event to remove their masks as he took the podium.

The news conference was taking place at the University of South Florida and as Gov. DeSantis was walking towards the podium to address the meeting, he took the time to speak with students, who were going to be standing behind him while he spoke, about their mask-wearing.

"You do not have to wear those masks," Gov. DeSantis said while pointing at the students. "I mean, please take them off. Honestly, it's not doing anything and we gotta stop with this COVID theater. So, if you want to wear it, fine. But, this, this is ridiculous."

There was laughter, then some of the students removed their masks as the governor turned back towards the crowd.

Gov. DeSantis then scoffed, shook his head, then shuffled through his notes and began the news conference.