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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke August 11, 2021

Altered image shows Ron DeSantis holding anti-mask shirt

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  • This image was altered. The original photo shows Ron DeSantis holding a shirt from the fast-food chain Popeyes. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently said that the state board of education could withhold the salaries of school administrators if they impose mask mandates on students, but a recent viral photo of him holding an anti-mask T-shirt isn’t authentic. 

"Your mask is as useless as Joe Biden," reads the text on a shirt a smiling DeSantis is holding for the camera. 

That message doesn’t appear in the original image. 

A post sharing the photo was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

DeSantis posted the original, unaltered photo on Twitter in September 2019, before the first coronavirus cases were detected and the use of face coverings to stop the spread of COVID-19 became widespread around the world. 

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But the text on the shirt is about food, not masks or the president. 

"I went to Popeyes for the new chicken sandwich and all I got was this lousy t-shirt," the shirt reads. 

"Great to visit the HQ for @PopeyesChicken and @BurgerKing in Miami," DeSantis tweeted. "I’ve been looking for the elusive sandwich, but the stores are still out. Maybe it’s time to issue an executive order requiring all Popeyes in Florida to re-stock them ASAP??"

We rate this post False.


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Altered image shows Ron DeSantis holding anti-mask shirt

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