Florida among most defiant states when it comes to mask mandates

By The Numbers

A sign advises guests to wear a face mask at the Island Bay Resort in Tavernier, in the Florida Keys, during the new coronavirus pandemic, Monday, June 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Florida residents are among the most defiant citizens in the United States when it comes to wearing face coverings to slow the spread of COVID-19, a new study found.

Survival at Home, a website dedicated to survival and disaster preparedness, used geotagging data on Twitter to track several mask-related hashtags over the last 30 days. The hashtags, tracked in each state, included #nomask, #burnyourmask, #nomasks, #antimask and #iwillnotcomply. More than 150,000 tweets were analyzed.

Florida had the third-highest amount of anti-mask tweets, behind just Arizona and Nevada.

Tweets in favor of wearing masks, however, far outweighed the anti-mask sentiment in each state, the study said.

The data lends itself to what many believe has been a problematic response to the coronavirus by Florida’s leadership.

Stay-at-home orders in the Sunshine State lagged behind other states by about a month. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has not issued a statewide mask mandate but said he wouldn’t stop local mask mandates.

Florida surpassed more than 300,000 cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. Hillsborough County has the 24th-highest number of confirmed cases in the entire country, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

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