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Florida surgeon general explains his lack of wearing mask

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo on Tuesday wrote on Twitter about his refusal to wear a mask while meeting with state Sen. Tina Polsky, who has breast cancer, saying he can’t “communicate clearly and effectively” with his face covered.

“Having a conversation with someone while wearing a mask is not something I find productive, especially when other options exist,” Ladapo stated in his first public remarks about the incident. “It is important to me to communicate clearly and effectively with people. I can’t do that when half of my face is covered.”

The statement didn’t include an apology, but explained his stance on masks, which he doesn’t believe are effective at slowing the spread of COVID-19, the virus that has killed more than 58,800 people in Florida. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and many other health officials say masks do help stop the spread of the virus.

Ladapo said he suggested he and Polsky meet outdoors where the virus doesn’t spread as easily or sit in the hallway, but she declined.

—Orlando Sentinel

 

Alaska justices take up legality of ranked-choice voting

JUNEAU, Alaska — Opponents of Alaska’s new ranked-choice election system, having lost a lawsuit in Superior Court, are now appealing to the state Supreme Court.

Alaska’s high court has accepted the appeal under an accelerated timeline that will have justices hear arguments Jan. 18. The justices are expected to issue a summary decision shortly afterward, and that decision will determine how Alaska will conduct its statewide elections in 2022.

Last year, 50.6% of participating Alaska voters approved Ballot Measure 2, which significantly changes how Alaska conducts state elections.

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