The Republican lawmaker instead had another suggestion for fighting back against the latest surge of COVID-19 cases in his state. “You’re not going to mask your way out of this pandemic,” he said during a video within the tweet. “The answer here is vaccines.”
Florida currently leads the nation in new COVID-19 cases, as well as COVID-related hospitalizations. Many of the new infections come from the highly contagious Delta variant.
During the minute-and-a-half-long video, Rubio also chastised the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He said the agency is too concerned with “‘Who are we going to strap masks on now? How are we going to force masks on people?'”
The CDC has recently said that even fully vaccinated people should wear masks when indoors amongst people from outside their household. The health organization’s data indicates that while breakthrough infections are rare among vaccinated people, they can still spread COVID-19—especially the Delta variant—even if they are less likely to become severely ill if infected.
Rubio began his video by listing off what he said are facts about COVID-19.
“The overwhelming majority of the people who are in the hospital are not vaccinated. The overwhelming majority of people that are testing positive and are vaccinated are not going to the hospital,” he claimed. “So, what does common sense tell you? It tells you if you are vaccinated, you are probably not going to get COVID, but if you do, you are not going to get very sick.”
He added that unvaccinated people are “probably going to get COVID eventually.” He also said that those who do get infected may experience “nothing, or it might be really bad and you might end up in the hospital.”
“That’s the facts, and you present that to people and you talk to people as adults—as grownups—you present this information, and you allow people in a free country to then make the best decision for themselves and for their families,” he continued.
Along with talking briefly about masks, Rubio also included a short written message about them in the tweet. He wrote, “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.”
He wrapped up the video by asserting, “The answer here is vaccines. Get vaccinated. That’s the answer.”
Newsweek contacted Rubio for further comment but did not hear back in time for publication.