“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,” Schneider said. “And we believe in the rule of law, so we need to comply with the laws of this county that we’re in. But a private hotel, just like your house, gets to set its own rules.”
Patrick went on to explain that “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 the ballroom, when you’re seated, you should still be wearing a mask.”
“So if everybody can go ahead, work on that. I know, I know, it’s not the most fun,” Patrick continued, as scattered shouts of “freedom” gave way to louder complaints from the crowd.
“You have the right to set [your] own rules in your own house,” Schneider interjected. “And we’re borrowing somebody else’s house. So we need to comply with their rules. So thank you all for putting on your masks. I wear a mask when I’m in the halls, and we’re going to comply with their rules.”
Schneider and Patrick’s pleas came after numerous speakers had criticized the pandemic measures put in place by Democratic state and local officials across the country, as well as the advice of public health experts.
But their comments particularly clashed with earlier remarks by ACU Chair Matt Schlapp and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who boasted at the opening of Day One of the conference: “Welcome to our oasis of freedom!”