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Florida doctors have harsh words for DeSantis, Trump following ‘unacceptable’ display at Sanford rally

Florida Gov. DeSantis high-fiving at Trump rally draws criticism from doctors
Florida Gov. DeSantis high-fiving at Trump rally draws criticism from doctors

MIAMI – South Florida doctors are weighing in after seeing video of Gov. Ron DeSantis high-fiving people at President Trump’s rally Monday night in Sanford.

He apparently also touched his face with that same hand.

The rally was packed full of supporters of the president, with little to no social distancing, and not many were wearing masks, including DeSantis.

Eleven days after his COVID-19 diagnosis, President Donald Trump was also not wearing a mask, but he was throwing masks out to supporters at Monday’s rally.

“I feel so powerful,” Trump said. “I’ll walk into that audience; I’ll kiss everyone in that audience.”

DeSantis, after being seen high-fiving supporters, at one point appeared to wipe his nose.

“He actually was filmed touching his face. In the middle of a pandemic where hand hygiene is a key recommendation to reducing spread, this type of behavior is unacceptable for the leader of our state,” said cardiologist Dr. Bernard Ashby.

On Tuesday, Florida doctors had harsh words for the governor and issued a call to the president to stop holding rallies in the state, which they say place the public health at risk, if prior events are any indication.

“Having a rally where there is no social distancing and no one is masking -- this is clearly a super spreader event,” said St. Petersburg allergist and immunologist Dr. Mona Mangat.

On Monday night, the president praised DeSantis for reopening businesses statewide, something health experts say has been done without precautions in place to keep coronavirus cases down.

“I want to just congratulate the governor and everybody in Florida, you’re open for business and doing great,” Trump said.

About the Author:

Amy Viteri is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who joined Local 10 News in September 2015. She's currently an investigative reporter and enjoys uncovering issues facing South Florida communities. A native of the Washington, D.C., area, she's happy to be back in South Florida, where she earned a masters degree at the University of Miami.