States that continue to implement mask wearing mandates are reporting higher COVID cases per capita than Florida, a maskless state that has long been targeted by the mainstream media for going against health authorities' recommendations. One state that is reporting a daily average of 4,661 cases, or 37 per 100,000 is Illinois, which reinstituted its mask mandate in August.

According to the New York Times' COVID tracker, the state of Illinois is showing an increase of 45% in new COVID cases in the last 14 days. Likewise, Oregon, which lifted its outdoor mask mandate last week but maintains its indoor mask requirement, is reporting an average of 806 cases, or 19 per capita. In New Mexico, which extended its statewide mask mandate, a daily average of 1,406 cases or 67 per capita has been reported, resulting in a 5% increase in the last two weeks.

Nevada is also reporting a daily average of 21 cases per 100,000, while Washington state is reporting a daily average of 18 cases per 100,000.

Breitbart reported that Hawaii is the only state that still has a mask mandate that comes close to Florida's statistics, with a daily average of seven cases per 100,000, as Florida reports the lowest numbers in America with just 6 per 100,000. Florida also never had a mask mandate implemented throughout the COVID pandemic.

"They should not be mandated. No government entity should force you to do that. That is your choice," Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis declared in August. "If that's something you believe provides you protection, no one is going to say anything to you. But that should not, absolutely not, be mandated."

The Republican leader also took aim at health authorities, saying that "even some of these experts now are acknowledging, with an aerosolized virus, a piece of cloth is not going to stop the aerosols." Gov. DeSantis underscored that he leaves the decision to wear masks to the people and lets them "make their own judgments. If they feel comfortable with that, do it. But absolutely not should that be mandated in any way."

After Florida reported the lowest number of new COVID cases in the entire country, Gov. DeSantis' Press Secretary Christina Pushaw remarked to Fox 13 News, "It just shows once again the success of Governor DeSantis's science based and data based policies."

Pushaw commended the Republican leader's ability to make "decisions based on the data and that continued even during the Delta surge this summer what he realized would help was not mask mandates in school or lockdowns but provide treatment that actually works."

The Tampa Bay Times reported that as per University of Washington epidemiologist Ali Mokdad, the degree of waning immunity may determine whether there will be a winter spike in COVID cases in Florida. Waning immunity is due to the passage of time since an individual's second vaccine shot. Dr. Mokdad uses mathematical models to predict the spread of COVID and in models without waning immunity, data showed that Florida will not see a surge this winter. However, the epidemiologist said that taking into consideration waning immunity, there may be a possibility of a spike in winter.