Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, one of the nation’s most prominent opponents of coronavirus restrictions, lashed out at a group of students attending a cybersecurity event for wearing face coverings on Wednesday.
“You don’t have to wear those masks,” DeSantis said as he approached the students, who would stand behind the stage where he would make his remarks.
“I mean, please take them off,” he said immediately, pointing his finger. “Honestly, it doesn’t do anything. And we have to stop this COVID theater. So if you want to wear it, fine, but this is ridiculous.”
The place was captured by Evan Donovan, a reporter for the local news channel WFLA. The cybersecurity event was held at the University of South Florida, but some students were apparently in high school. The local school district of Middleton High School released a statement from Superintendent Addison Davis, who said students have the “choice to protect their health in whatever way they see fit”.
“We are pleased that our Middleton High School students have been featured as part of the nationwide focus on cybersecurity education,” said Davis. in computer systems and information technology. As always, our students should be valued and celebrated. It is the choice of the student and parents to protect their health in the way they see fit. We are proud of the way our students represented themselves and our school district.”
A spokeswoman for the governor, Christina Pushaw, defended DeSantis’ message. “After two years of mixed reports from health authorities and media,” she wrote in an email to Yahoo News, “the governor wants to make sure everyone is now aware of the facts and data so they can feel free and comfortable. feel without a mask.”
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention effectively said that millions of Americans who had masked… didn’t have to do this anymore† But public health officials have said emphatically that no one should be vilified if they choose to wear a face covering.
DeSantis has masked – and vaccination – framed as a matter of personal freedom, arguing that no one would be prevented from masking if they choose to do so. However, his complaint to the masked students gathered for his comments suggested otherwise.
A majority of Florida favorite mask during the late summer 2021 Delta wave, but DeSantis waged a protracted legal battle with school districts seeking to impose mask mandates. Since then, he has become a favorite of conservatives who find the threat of the coronavirus exaggerated. His new surgeon general, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, Downplayed Vaccination And Refused To Wear A Mask Last Year at a meeting with a legislator being treated for breast cancer†