This past Wednesday, Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) called out the student at a university event by stating that they could remove their masks if they so chose.
DeSantis was taking time to pay a visit down to the University of South Florida in an effort to announce funds for education in cybersecurity. DeSantis looked out over the students from the podium before telling the crowd that they could take off their face masks.
“You do not have to wear those masks,” stated Governor DeSantis. “I mean, please take them off. Honestly, it’s not doing anything and we’ve gotta stop with this COVID theater. So if you want to wear it, fine, but this is, this is ridiculous.”
Some of the students in attendance proceeded to follow his statements by taking off their masks.
Ron DeSantis to USF students:
"You do not have to wear those masks. Please take them off. Honestly, it's not doing anything. We've gotta stop with this Covid theater. So if you wanna wear it, fine, but this is ridiculous." pic.twitter.com/FKjyeg9loQ
— TheBlaze (@theblaze) March 2, 2022
DeSantis taking steps to push back against the wearing of masks is not a new idea. He has repeatedly been against mask mandates in schools and even went as far as signing an executive order to remove all state funding from any school that mandates the wearing of masks.
Just this past month, he stated that parents should have the power to sue school districts if their child “was illegally forced-masked this year in Florida.” He cited “any negative effects of it, if they have speech problems, if they have emotional problems, physical problems.”
“They flouted the law and they should be liable for the consequences of their actions,” claimed DeSantis.
This past Tuesday, the governor took time to announce that Florida’s surgeon general has released a new series of guidelines for Florida employees to allow them freedom from all mask requirements.
“Simply relying on outdated CDC guidance when the experience has completely undercut that is not really a reasonable thing to do at this point,” stated DeSantis in a video posted to Twitter.
“A 9 to 5 job should not be a N-95 job,” claimed the governor.
Florida businesses need to stop relying on outdated CDC forced masking of worker requirements. @FLSurgeonGen Ladapo has put out new guidance for Florida workers liberating them from 8 hour forced mask workdays.
A 9 to 5 job should not be a N-95 job. pic.twitter.com/QeLo2hUfJk
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 2, 2022
DeSantis specifically spoke about workers in the hospitality and service sectors.
“Every time I go to these places, I’ll be in these big events and you have all these people having such a good time and the poor servers are forced to mask and I will ask them, ‘Are you allowed to take the mask off?’ They say not yet,” he claimed.
“They’re all waiting for it. They all want to be liberated. They want to be treated normally,” added DeSantis.
The video cropped up in the wake of press release this past week from DeSantis and Florida’s Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo that highlighted new and significant changes to the COVID-19 guidance from the state “including pushing back on unscientific corporate masking, reducing isolation for all Floridians including those in schools and daycares, and recommending that physicians should exercise their individual clinical judgment and expertise based on their patients’ needs and preferences.”
“People want to live freely in Florida, without corporate masking creating a two-tier society and without overbearing isolation for children,” claimed DeSantis in a statement. “We are empowering health care practitioners to follow science, not Fauci’s status quo.”
Ladapo also put forth their own statement about the recent changes implemented in Florida.
“The State of Florida has widespread natural and vaccine-induced immunity,” Ladapo also highlighted. “Evidence suggests that most secondary transmission occurs early on. Our state will continue to make decisions for Floridians rooted in sound science, not fear, whether they are working or in school.”
“This guidance makes clear that all employees at a corporation should not be forced to wear a mask while at work. The guidance recognizes that there are millions of employees in Florida working in industries from hospitality to manufacturing to banking who for no reason whatsoever have been forced to wear a mask at work,” continued the statement.