In what might be one of the worst cases of cosmic irony, the very Florida county commissioner who voted against needing to wear masks in his county has been admitted into the hospital for testing positive with COVID-19.
According to Newsweek, Paul Waldron—who is the commissioner for St. Johns County just south of Jacksonville, Florida—tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently in the hospital, as of Friday afternoon. The commissioner's daughter made a post to Facebook outlining her father's condition as well.
"The hospital is working hard to keep him comfortable and continuously monitoring him," she wrote in the post. "His blood gas levels have improved today and numbers are holding."
Commissioner Waldron had voted against a countywide mandate requiring all residents to wear face masks as a way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 last week, and while it was said that he wasn't "necessarily opposed" to masks in general, he also wanted officials to be clear on what types of masks were needed and whether there would be enough available to distribute in the case that they were required.
The state of Florida has seen a surge in cases of COVID-19 since businesses have begun reopening over the last two months. Newsweek also cited that as of July 10, Florida has become one of the top four states that have recorded the most cases of coronavirus with 9,087 new cases each day for the last seven days this week alone. As beach-goers and residence attempt to continue regular life again, the pandemic is still very much alive and impacting the Sunshine State.
And all this, of course, is happening as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis received heat for suggesting that re-opening the state's schools is the same as re-opening Walmart or Home Depot in a press conference on Thursday.
The state of Florida currently has over 232,700 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. While kickstarting the economy is important, so is public health and safety so that might not be the best idea— especially for the state of Florida.