Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been on the frontlines of standing up for the rights of parents to make personal health decisions for their children.
The Florida governor has issued a response to the CDC’s new ‘guidance’ that recommends that “fully vaccinated people begin wearing masks indoors again in places with high Covid-19 transmission rates” and “kids wear masks in schools this fall.” The updated CDC guidance reverses advice that it dispensed earlier this month.
“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,” DeSantis said 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.),” he continued.
“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.,” the statement added. “At the end of the day, the Governor trusts parents to weigh the risks and benefits and make the best choices for their kids.”
The governor is reinforcing an earlier message that the State of Florida would not be going back to mandating children wear masks in schools.
“There’s been talk about potentially people advocating at the federal level imposing compulsory masks on kids. We’re not doing that in Florida, okay?” DeSantis said.
“We want kids to be able to be kids,” DeSantis added. “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.”
DeSantis also shot down bringing back lockdowns over the Delta variant.
“If anyone is calling for lockdowns, you’re not getting that done in Florida,” DeSantis said. “I’m going to protect people’s livelihoods, I’m going to protect kids’ right to go to school. I’m going to protect people’s right to run their small businesses.”
“We’re going to lift people up, we’re not locking them down,” he added.
While COVID infections have doubled in Florida over the past two weeks, the mortality rate has remained relatively flat at under 50 COVID-related deaths per day. At the same time, DeSantis lauded the efficacy of vaccines in bringing down COVID-19 rates and limiting the severity of the illness.
“Here’s, I think, the most important thing with the data: if you are vaccinated, fully vaccinated, the chance of you getting seriously ill or dying from COVID is effectively zero,” DeSantis said. “If you look at the people who are being admitted to hospitals, over 95 percent of them are either not fully vaccinated or not vaccinated at all. These vaccines are saving lives. They are reducing mortality.”
“We have a summer season here, just like last year,” he added. “It started a little later this year. So you’re going to have higher prevalence for the rest of July, probably into August. And then it goes back and goes the different waves. If you’re vaccinated, those waves are not going to impact you in any significant way and I think that’s the important message for people.”
In mid-July, the CDC updated its ‘mask guidance.’ The update stipulates that schoolchildren should wear masks and continue to maintain 3-foot social distancing unless fully vaccinated.
“Mask use is recommended for people who are not fully vaccinated including students, teachers, and staff,” the CDC states. “Children under 2 years of age should not wear a mask.”
“In general, people do not need to wear masks when outdoors,” the CDC continued. “However, particularly in areas of substantial to high transmission, CDC recommends that people who are not fully vaccinated wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings or during activities that involve sustained close contact with other people who are not fully vaccinated.”
“Based on the needs of the community, school administrators may opt to make mask use universally required (i.e., required regardless of vaccination status) in the school,” the CDC added.
It looks like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is going to ignore the CDC guidance and enact state policies that are beneficial to the public as a whole.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis: ‘Evils of Communism & Totalitarianism’ Will Be Taught in Schools
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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.