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Patton Oswalt cancels shows in Florida and Utah, says venues will not follow his Covid-19 safety protocols

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Requests to follow such Covid-19 protocols have become increasingly common in recent months, as venues reopened to touring musicians and comedians. Chelsea Handler, another comedian on tour this year, demanded a negative test or proof of vaccination for participants, as does the Lollapalooza Music Festival and bands like Phish.
Oswalt intended to do the same, he said in a posted video. on Instagram last week. But his theaters in Florida, where he was scheduled to perform in three cities, and his Salt Lake City hall refused to comply. These dates, he announced, are now canceled.

“This difficult decision was made due to the growing number of Covid cases,” Oswalt said. “And also because I have an ego but my ego is not big enough to think people should die to hear my stupid comedy.”

The other dates of Oswalt’s tour are still planned. CNN has reached out to representatives for Oswalt for further comment, but has not received a response.

In Florida, businesses are not legally allowed to request proof of vaccination, a decision made by Governor Ron DeSantis in April. (State sites did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.) In Utah, Oswalt was scheduled to appear at Kingsbury Hall on the University of Utah campus, and although the school requires vaccinations for students, a spokesperson confirmed to CNN that it “cannot extend this to customers of campus sites for experiments presented by the University of Utah.”

“However, outdoor rentals (like Live Nation) can establish their own security protocols. Unfortunately, the Oswalt team had already made the decision to cancel the January show prior to this clarification, but we look forward to rescheduling with him in the future, “the spokesperson said in a statement.

Oswalt’s decision drew some criticism, especially from GOP Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, where Oswalt scheduled several shows. In response to canceled shows in Utah and Florida, Cruz wrote on Twitter, “Both of his fans were disappointed.”
In the United States, Covid-19 cases have increased, in large part due to large swathes of unvaccinated Americans. The Delta variant, at least twice as contagious as the original virus, has also contributed to the increase in cases. Since July, hospitalizations due to Covid-19 have also increased steadily, with nearly 30% of all hospitalizations occurring in Florida and Texas.

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