The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) kicked off last night in Orlando, Florida, an “oasis of freedom,” according to governor Ron DeSantis, in a country that’s otherwise “suffering from the yoke of oppressive lockdowns.” (More than 30,000 Floridians have died from COVID-19.) But inside the Hyatt Regency Orlando, everyone is required to wear a mask, something that did not sit well with conference attendees.
Two CPAC organizers, executive director Dan Schneider and planner Carly Conley, were met with a rain of boos when they asked the conservative crowd to put on masks. “We conservatives believe in the rule of law, because we know that when the laws enforced, our rights are protected. But also to mention one thing, and I know this might sound like a little bit of a downer, but we also believe in property rights, and this is a private hotel. And we believe in the rule of law,” Schneider said. “So we need to comply with the laws of this county that we’re in. A private hotel just like your house gets to set its own rules.” With all the feeble enthusiasm of an in-over-their-head babysitter, Conley added, “We are in a private facility and we do want to be respectful of the ordinances that they have as their private property. So please everyone, when you’re in a ballroom, when you’re seated, you should still be wearing a mask. So if everybody can go ahead, work on that.”
Instead of “working on that,” the crowd booed and one person yelled “freedom!”
CPAC hosts get heckled after announcing they must comply with the private venue's mask rules, calling it “a downer” and “not the most fun.” pic.twitter.com/dbuhPuzbFu
— The Recount (@therecount) February 26, 2021
CPAC 2021: already off to a golden start.