Florida senator battling cancer receives death threats for asking state surgeon general to wear a mask

State Sen. Tina Polsky has received several death threats and violent messages after she asked the Florida surgeon general to wear a mask — as she goes through treatment for breast cancer.

It all started when she told Dr. Joseph Ladapo to leave her office because he refused to wear a mask, even though Polsky is going through treatment for breast cancer.

Polsky says the story blew up, and the messages began rolling in.

One of the violent tirades lasted for more than a minute and ended with anti-Semitism, as well as a wish for her to die from cancer.

The voicemail: “All I have to say is you’re a sorry [profanity] piece of [profanity] and we don’t care that you have cancer. Step the [profanity] down because we’re going to drag your [profanity] out. We’re going to make sure that we vote every single one of you mother [profanity] like you, you stupid [profanity]. We’re going to get you out.”

Polsky was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer in September, which is when her staff implemented a mask rule for her office in Tallahassee that, she says, everyone who visited followed — that is, until about two weeks ago, when the new state surgeon general asked for a meeting.

“The surgeon general comes with two aides, and I ask him to put on a mask, and he won’t,” she explained. “And it went back and forth for quite a while. There was more discussion than there should have been.”

Eventually, she kicked him out.

Ladapo later released a statement that said, in part, “Having a conversation with someone while wearing a mask is not something I find productive, especially when other options exist. It is important to me to communicate clearly and effectively with people. I can’t do that when half of my face is covered.”

Polsky called that a “ridiculous excuse,” and stands by kicking him out.

Despite this, the hateful messages keep coming in.

Now, Polsky is calling for Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose wife just announced her own breast cancer diagnosis, to speak up, and tell people to cease the harassment.

“He’s partaking in this hate and this vitriol, so, I think he has a responsibility to speak out and tell people stop this kind of vile behavior.”

Polsky says she’s developing thick skin and hopes the governor will speak out soon.

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