'I got the Florida variant': Matt Gaetz downplays surging cases as state sets new COVID records

At the same time that Gaetz was holding his rally, Florida was sharing record-breaking COVID-19 numbers.

click to enlarge 'I got the Florida variant': Matt Gaetz downplays surging cases as state sets new COVID records
Screenrgab via Acyn/Twitter

Florida congressional representative and potential sex pest Matt Gaetz mocked the Delta variant of COVID-19 as it rages through the his home state. At a rally in Brevard County over the weekend, Gaetz poked fun at masking recommendations while Florida set new highs for daily numbers of cases and hospitalizations.

Speaking to a maskless crowd at the Hilton Melbourne Beach Oceanfront hotel for his "Florida Man Freedom Tour," Gaetz downplayed the threat of the virus that is rampaging through the area.

Gaetz told the crowd he had the "Florida variant," whose symptoms including "hunting, fishing and hugging your family." For the record, a quick Google image search of "Matt Gaetz holding gun" returns no relevant results. The same definitely can't be said of his partner in conservative trolling Marjorie Taylor Greene.

He updated the applause line a bit for a speech in Largo, saying that the variant gave him freedom.

At the first rally, Gaetz called Dr. Anthony Fauci a "sniveling little twit" before reviving an ancient political phrase to discuss the CDC's change of heart on face mask policy. He said the agency was "flip-flopping" on its masking stance (as opposed to responding to the unmitigated spread in places like Florida).

At the same time that Gaetz was holding his rally, Florida was sharing record-breaking COVID-19 numbers. The state reported a new high in coronavirus cases on Saturday, with over 21,000 infections recorded the day prior. On Sunday, the state reported a new high for hospitalizations with 10,207 people across the state admitted for coronavirus complications.

This article first appeared at our sister publication Orlando Weekly. 

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