Florida Governor Ron DeSantis insisted Thursday that he will not allow mask mandates in Florida schools or any other legal imposition by Washington to restrict individual freedoms in his state under the guise of COVID-19.
He further suggested that, should federal authorities attempt to impose a mandate in this regard, he would call a special session of the Legislature to prevent it.
“We look forward to this upcoming year to be a normal school year, be in person and live and learn like normal kids. There’s been talk about potentially people advocating at the federal level imposing compulsory masks on kids. We’re not doing that in Florida. We need our kids to be able to be kids, we need them to be able to breathe, it’s terribly uncomfortable for them to do it. There’s not very much science behind it.”
The governor said that the decision on the use of masks in schools should be up to parents alone, and that the state should respect all positions. “I think it’s really important that parents obviously can equip their kid to go to school however they want, but there shouldn’t be any coercive mandates on our schools,” the governor added, “We want to make sure that is it.”
DeSantis vs Washington
He also mentioned a possible “campaign” by Washington to try to impose mandatory facemasks, to which he responded that he will ask the Legislature to do what is necessary to prevent it. “At the end of the day, we’ve got to start putting our kids first, we’ve got to look out for their education: is it really comfortable? Is it really healthy for them to be muzzled and have their breathing obstructed all day long in school? I don’t think it is,” he said.
“I have a three-year-old son. You got people like Fauci saying that he should be muzzled, that you should be throwing masks at these 3-YO kids. It’s totally unacceptable and certainly unacceptable at any level of governments imposing that on parents and kids,” DeSantis insisted.
The governor also spoke about lockdowns, “If anyone is calling for lockdowns, you’re not getting that done in Florida. I’m going to protect people’s livelihoods, I’m going to protect kids’ right to go to school, I’m going to protect right to run their small businesses.”
According to his position, any lockdown at a time when there are three vaccines available to everyone would be “unacceptable.” “It’s easy for some physicians to advocate that because it doesn’t affect them. It does affect the people in this state, so we’re going to lift people up, we’re not locking people down, and we’re going to make sure that folks are able to exercise their decision-making on what’s best for them,” he continued.
A reporter asked DeSantis for a message for people who have not yet been vaccinated, to which the governor responded that they should not be lied to by telling them they won’t get it, but that they need to be shown the facts and “talked to honestly,” letting them know that vaccines prevent hospitalization, severe symptoms, and death.
“Biden said last night “if you take the vaccine, you will not get covid”. That is false. We know that’s false, people have tested positive,” DeSantis said. “But I think what it does do is it really prevents against severe outcomes, particularly death or serious hospitalization. We just have to be honest with people. I don’t think that telling noble lies to people, which a lot of the people in the bureaucracy and the medical establishment tend to do. I don’t think that’s very helpful.”
Finally, DeSantis said the media will “try to create hysteria” about positive cases. “the media will try to create hysteria. Obviously, in Florida, we’re not getting swept away in that. We’re going to protect folks,” he added.
More than 10.3 million people have been vaccinated in Florida, according to official data, and any restriction of freedoms due to COVID-19, including the mandatory use of masks and passports for vaccinated people, was prohibited by law in that state.