In a decision that could make President Donald Trump very unhappy, Jacksonville, Fla., city leaders said Monday that as of 5 p.m. Eastern, everyone must wear masks in public and indoor locations, in addition to places where people can’t socially distance.
Earlier this month, Trump moved his Aug. 27 acceptance speech for the GOP presidential nomination - along with other parts of the Republican Convention - to Jacksonville because Charlotte officials couldn’t guarantee that he’d be allowed to fill a large arena without social distancing.
Trump hasn't been known to wear a mask himself.
The speech is now slated for Jacksonville’s VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. The decision came earlier this month, before coronavirus cases exploded in Florida. Many attribute that spread to Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) quick reopening of the state’s economy from its April lockdown.
The Florida Department of Health reported that the state on Monday added 5,266 coronavirus cases, putting the total at 146,341.
Duval County, which consists solely of Jacksonville, reported 251 new cases Monday, lifting the total to 5,839.
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and healthcare experts have been contemplating a mask order for more than a week, two knowledgeable sources told Politico’s Marc Caputo.
The clincher for Curry was the decisions by the Coast Guard and Navy, which has two facilities in Jacksonville, to mandate the wearing of masks indoors, Caputo wrote.
“Curry, a former Republican Party of Florida chairman, has been ideologically resistant to passing government mandates,” Caputo said. But he wants to ensure a safe GOP convention in August.
A group of doctors last week criticized Curry’s decision to host the convention.