Tina Polsky’s office said this week that the state senator has received death threats and antisemitic messages after the national uproar caused when Florida’s surgeon general, Dr. Joseph Lapado, refused to don a mask while meeting with her. Polsky, who began radiation treatment for breast cancer on Wednesday, said in a statement that she had “received a number of disturbing, hateful voicemails… almost solely from phone numbers from outside of Florida.” Callers have been “praying for my death” and spewing “anti-Semitic vitriol,” according to the senator.
On Wednesday, Polsky called it a “shameful excuse” and “an absurdity” that Lapado was unable to communicate with his mask on. He seemed “smug” about his preference not to wear a mask in her office, she said earlier this week, despite her attempts to tell him about her medical condition. Polsky maintained that she wanted to see Gov. Ron DeSantis take away Lapado’s nomination, according to WPTV-TV, saying she believes the surgeon general is “unfit for the position.” DeSantis’ spokesperson said in response to the threats that “we would encourage the Senator to report any threatening or harassing communications she receives to law enforcement so they can investigate and follow up appropriately.”