Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis addressed the state of Florida’s school reopening plans Tuesday, saying, “kids do not need to be wearing these masks.”
“These kids do not need to be wearing these masks. OK? I’m sorry, they don’t,” the Florida governor said. “We need to be able to let them be kids and let them act normally, that’s what should be the case in the fall throughout the school year.”
DeSantis spoke at a news conference at Christ the King Catholic School in Jacksonville, Florida.
WATCH LIVE: Press Conference in Jacksonville https://t.co/mViVQkumTk
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) May 11, 2021
Florida’s education commissioner, Richard Corcoran, asked school districts to make mask-wearing voluntary for the 2021-2022 school year.
“The data shows us that districts’ face covering policies do not impact the spread of the virus,” Corcoran wrote in a letter.
“What’s our direction to the school districts and the other schools? Our direction is relatively simple. Have a normal school year,” DeSantis added. “That’s what we want, and that’s what will happen.”
Florida state representative Anthony Sabatini also sent a letter to DeSantis asking the governor to issue an executive order “suspending the power of School Boards to mask children,” which Sabatini referred to as a “cruel and misguided policy.”
“A student and their parents should have the choice of whether to wear a mask or not — not government,” he added.
The Republican governor signed an executive order in early May, scrapping all COVID-19 restrictions throughout the state and an accompanying bill that limited localities’ ability to enforce emergency precautions. (RELATED: Ron DeSantis Signs Bill Scrapping All Of Florida’s COVID Restrictions)
“I think that’s the evidence-based thing to do,” DeSantis said. “I think folks are saying they need to be policing people at this point, if you’re saying that, then you’re really saying you don’t believe in the vaccines.”