On the same day Florida broke a record with 21,000 new COVID cases, Rep. Matt Gaetz decided joking about the deadly virus was a real knee slapper. Gaetz kicked off his so-called "Florida Man Freedom Tour" in what appears to be yet another attempt to distract from his sex trafficking allegations.
From Florida Today:
Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) kicked off his Florida Man "Freedom Tour" at the Hilton Melbourne Beach Oceanfront hotel Saturday, expressing support for former President Donald J. Trump while railing against mask mandates and lockdowns. [...]
Following a prayer, singing of patriotic songs and the pledge of allegiance, Gaetz addressed an estimated audience of about 100, criticizing mask mandates, lockdowns and vaccine passports, finishing his opening monologue with, "Donald Trump won the election!"
"This is Donald Trump's Republican party," he said to cheers and applause.
Throughout the event, he discussed various issues where he believed the government, "big tech", "big pharma" and other groups were failing the United States, warning the crowd that these groups did not put America first. He also criticized critical race theory and the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic by the CDC and government, saying Washingtonwould shut down the southern border if they cared about infection rates.
As Gaetz discussed vaccines and mask mandates, he mocked the COVID-19 delta variant, which caused Brevard County to break a COVID record this past week. Hesaid he had the "Florida variant," which gives him the skills of "hunting, fishing and hugging your family."
He then called Anthony Fauci a "sniveling little twit," and criticized him for "flip-flopping" on the CDC's recommendations for facemasks and social distancing.