TALLAHASSEE - U.S. Senator Marco Rubio is speaking out after calls for mask mandates in Florida following a surge in COVID-19 cases around the state.
In a video posted to Twitter, Rubio says "you're not going to mask your way out of this pandemic."
"The only way out of this pandemic is to turn COVID into something no worse than a cold or a flu and we have medicines that do that. It's called a vaccine."
In the caption for the video, Rubio says to "stop with the mask fetish."
"If you want to wear a mask as a courtesy to those around you or because you are in no mood to get even a little sick, go ahead. If you want your kids to mask in school that’s your right."
President Joe Biden recently criticized Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and other officials who have moved to block the reimposition of mask mandates. He called on resistant Republican governors to "get out of the way" of vaccine rules and endorsed New York City’s move to require vaccinations to dine indoors or go to the gym.
"If you’re not going to help, at least get out of the way of people trying to do the right thing," Biden said.
As of Monday, 11,863 inpatient beds in Florida were being used by COVID-19 patients, about 22 percent of all inpatient beds in the state, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data show. No other state had as high of a utilization rate.
Watch FOX 35 News for the latest updates on COVID-19.