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With Crist as Governor, Floridians Could Face Authoritarian COVID Measures

At an event in April, Crist said that he would be open to instituting mask mandates in Florida should he become governor.

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Democratic gubernatorial challenger Charlie Crist is trailing Governor Ron DeSantis with double digits in the polls. Despite the fact that Crist’s chances to win the governor’s race are slim, the DeSantis campaign felt it necessary to point out that the stakes for Floridians’ personal freedom are high in this election.

On Thursday, the campaign posted a video of Charlie Crist from September of last year, where Crist states that he would mandate vaccines for state employees. In the video, Crist says:

“And I’ve continued to urge all my neighbors across Florida to please get vaccinated and encourage their family and friends to do the same. But Governor DeSantis seems to have taken a different approach. The wrong one. The life and wellbeing of our state employees is worthy of implementing common-place safety measures to ensure we can be open and safe. And that’s why I’m the only candidate in this race who has called for a vaccine mandate for state workers, to keep folks protected from the worst of this virus.”


Fox News reported that as recently as in April, during an event in Wilton Manors, Charlie Crist signaled that he would be open to instituting mask mandates in Florida.

An event attendee asked, "Congressman, thank you for coming. You mentioned the pandemic. Hopefully it is behind us. But as Florida’s governor, would you be open to mandating or regulating masks?"

"Yes. I just read an article this morning. I'm glad you brought it up. So I'm going to the airport right after this. I’m going to Orlando, and I'm going to wear a mask on the plane. You don't have to anymore, but I'm going to because Florida is experiencing an uptick that began this week. And it's not even the Omicron B2. It’s a new variant," Crist responded according to the Fox News story.


Statements from Charlie Crist suggest that he may be confused on what the concept “bodily autonomy” means.

On October 17, he tweeted: “I’m the only candidate in this race who believes that every person should have the right to make their own decisions about their health, body, and future.”

The tweet prompted one user called Tim Burke to respond: ”Thats bullpuckey. You'd have locked down everything, jabbed eveybody [sic] and mandated anything to perfect your position of power, you have never, after 13 years ago given a damn about real people. They've not forgotten. But don't you dare quit. I need to see,hear you admit failure.”

Charlie Crist’s campaign has not responded to a request for comment from The Florida Standard.