Support local journalism. Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Anti-mask Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis responds to updated CDC school guidelines

Posted By on Wed, Jul 28, 2021 at 11:01 AM

click to enlarge Gov. DeSantis still thinks masking in schools should be an individual decision. - PHOTO VIA RON DESANTIS/TWITTER
  • Photo via Ron DeSantis/Twitter
  • Gov. DeSantis still thinks masking in schools should be an individual decision.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been clear that he doesn't want mandatory mask policies in Florida public schools. He's not backing off that position, even now that the CDC has updated their guidelines to encourage in-school masking.

In their new COVID-19-combating recommendations, the federal agency urged vaccinated people to wear masks indoors. When it came to school, they said that non-vaccinated people above the age of 2 should wear masks indoors. As this includes almost all children, it amounted to a blanket call for masking in schools.



"Masks should be worn indoors by all individuals (age 2 and older) who are not fully vaccinated," they wrote. "Consistent and correct mask use by people who are not fully vaccinated is especially important indoors and in crowded settings, when physical distancing cannot be maintained."


DeSantis refused to back away from his previous statements on the matter, leaving the idea of masking up to individual schools and parents.

"Governor DeSantis believes that parents know what’s best for their children; therefore, parents in Florida are empowered to make their own choices with regards to masking," his office shared in a statement.

"Experts have raised legitimate concerns that the risks of masking outweigh the potential benefits for children, because masking children can negatively impact their learning, speech, emotional and social development, and physical health (e.g., infections from bacteria that’s often found on masks, difficulty breathing while exercising in masks, etc.) Fortunately, the data indicate that COVID is not a serious risk to healthy children, which is why schools in most countries were among the first institutions to reopen. At the end of the day, the Governor trusts parents to weigh the risks and benefits and make the best choices for their kids.”

Florida is in the midst of a massive spike in coronavirus cases, largely attributed to the delta variant of the virus and the state's lax policies around COVID-19. DeSantis and the state legislature effectively kneecapped local government's ability to mandate coronavirus restrictions via a new law and executive order put forth earlier this year.



Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly newsletters, and consider supporting this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you Central Florida news, and every little bit helps.

Tags: , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

Sept. 22, 2021

View more issues

Calendar

© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation