|Sean Hannity on Broadcast row at CPAC Orlando|
“We are in an oasis of freedom in a nation that’s suffering from the yoke of oppressive lockdowns,’' the governor said. “We look around in other parts of our country, and in far too many places, we see schools closed, businesses shuttered and lives destroyed. And while so many governors over the last year kept locking people down, Florida lifted people up.”
|Michael Yaffee WVNN Huntsville|
For much of the day, CPAC’s attempts to enforce mask policies imposed because of the pandemic led to some tense moments involving people whose adherence to the rule was spotty at best.
YouTube personality Essential Fleccas, registered as news media, was asked to leave after repeated refusals to wear a mask.
The annual conference was shifted to Florida this year after COVID-19 restrictions shut down the event’s traditional Maryland hotel.
Both CPAC and the Hyatt Regency Orlando vowed that mask-wearing and social distancing would be strictly enforced, especially after CPAC made headlines last year when a New Jersey doctor who attended tested positive for the coronavirus shortly afterward.
But non-compliance started early.
Several attendees in line to hear DeSantis pulled theirs down to talk to each other, despite signs reminding people to wear masks and keep six feet apart all around the hotel and conference center.
One person not wearing a mask walked past several Hyatt employees without being directed to put one on. Other Hyatt employees successfully asked people to put on or pull up their masks, and later in the day, they walked around with warning signs and with bags of masks to hand out.