WATCH: GOP senator schools Florida's Ron DeSantis on his handling of the COVID surge
Florida governor Ron DeSantis. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

Appearing on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday morning, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) was questioned by host Dana Bash about the latest COVID-19 surge of infections which then led him to give some stern advice to fellow Republican Ron DeSantis.

Cassidy -- a practicing gastroenterologist when he entered politics in 2006 -- was asked about the Florida Republican issuing executive orders banning local officials from enforcing mask mandates as the pandemic ravages the state with the senator responding he was speaking as both a doctor and a conservative.

"Some governors, like Ron DeSantis in Florida, Greg Abbott in Texas -- they're blocking imposing restrictions like mask mandates," Bash began. The virus is surging in those states, as in yours. You are a doctor, you are an official. Shouldn't local officials be allowed to make mask mandates?"

"I'm a conservative," Cassidy quickly responded. "You govern best when you govern closest to the people being governed. If a local community is having -- their ICU is full and people at the local schools see they've got to make sure they stay open because otherwise children will miss out for another year of school and they put in policies, then the local official should be listened to. That is a conservative principle."

"You disagree with Governor DeSantis?" the CNN host pressed.

"I do disagree with Governor DeSantis," Cassidy shot back. "Local officials should have control here. I don't want top-down from Washington, D.C. I don't want top-down from a governor's office. Sometimes in cases of national defense, things like that. But if my hospitals are full, vaccination rates are low and the infection rate is going crazy, local officials should be allowed to make those decisions."

Watch below:


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