Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed an executive order on Friday to ban schools from enforcing mask mandates. The Governor wants parents to be able to choose whether their kids wear a mask or not.
“The federal government has no right to tell parents that in order for their kids to attend school in person, they must be forced to wear a mask all day, every day,” the Governor said. “Many Florida schoolchildren have suffered under forced masking policies, and it is prudent to protect the ability of parents to make decisions regarding the wearing of masks by their children.”
“I have young kids. My wife and I are not going to do the masks with the kids. We never have,” Governor DeSantis said at a restaurant in Cape Coral. “I want to see my kids smiling. I want them having fun.”
The Florida Education Association disagrees with the Governor’s executive order.
“No matter if we live in urban South Florida, in the rural Panhandle or somewhere in-between, we all want our children to be healthy and safe,” the Association said in a statement.
“Unfortunately, through his words and actions, Gov. DeSantis has made clear he does not respect the freedom of locally elected officials to do what they feel is best for their communities.”
A Democratic lawmaker immediately criticized his Friday announcement.
“Our Governor continues to prioritize his own political agenda over the health and well-being of Floridians by going after masks,” tweeted state Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando.
“Meanwhile homelessness and poverty are legitimate issues he could be focused on. But NOPE, let’s keep on w/the culture wars & endanger lives.”
Our Governor continues to prioritize his own political agenda over the health and well being of Floridians by going after masks.
Meanwhile homelessness and poverty are legitimate issues he could be focused on. But NOPE, let’s keep on w/the culture wars & endanger lives. https://t.co/qSMVnVYxnp
— Rep. Anna V. Eskamani 🔨 (@AnnaForFlorida) July 30, 2021
The Governor banned mask mandates in the state back in May.
New cases of the delta variant have appeared in Florida. According to Click Orlando, Florida is averaging 15,780+ cases a day.
Only 48.7 percent of residents in Florida are fully vaccinated.