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Florida Sen. Tina Polsky is receiving death threats, says people are ‘up in arms’ over masks

woman wearing glasses speaks into microphone that she is holding
Steve Cannon
Rep. Tina Polsky, D-Boca Raton, debates during a session Tuesday March 10, 2020, in Tallahassee. Florida's top health official was asked to leave a meeting after refusing to wear a mask at the office of the state senator who told him she had a serious medical condition.

After asking state Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo to wear a mask, the senator has been receiving death threats.

Florida Sen. Tina Polsky says she was told to “f--- off and die” in a voicemail left at her office and that it was not the only death threat she’s gotten.

She says the threats started after she asked state Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo to leave her office after Ladapo refused to wear a mask.

Voicemail message
This voicemail was left for Sen. Tina Polsky after she asked Florida Surgeon General to leave her office because he wasn't wearing a mask.
Florida Senator Tina Polsky speaking at a podium in Tallahassee.

“Here I am just trying to protect myself by asking people who visit my office to wear a mask, and I have gotten such vile messages on all social media,” Polsky said Friday on The Florida Roundup.

Polsky, a Democrat who represents parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties, was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer last month.

Florida Politics reported that a positive COVID test could delay her treatment.

She said the ongoing threats resemble much of what she’s seen with Florida school board members in relation to ongoing debates on mask mandates at public schools.

“Masks are the only tool that we have at our disposal to help protect these vulnerable children, and people went nuts,” said Polsky.

“People are just so up in arms, and it's really about masks.”

She also said one of her colleagues is being sued for harassing a school board member.

“It has gotten so out of control, and it's truly embarrassing,” said Polsky.

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Jorgelina Manna-Rea is a WUSF Rush Family/USF Zimmerman School Digital News intern for the fall of 2021, her second straight semester with WUSF.