DeSantis Says Masks Should ‘Absolutely Not’ Be Mandated For School Children

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Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office said Tuesday that the new mask recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were not “based in science.”

The CDC announced Tuesday that it now recommends all children in kindergarten through 12th grade wear masks full-time while at school, regardless of vaccination status. It also recommends wearing masks indoors even for fully vaccinated people in certain circumstances. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said that an increase in cases from the Delta variant makes tighter restrictions necessary. (RELATED: ‘We Need Our Kids To Breathe’: DeSantis Vows No Mask Mandates As Major US Cities Clamp Down While COVID-19 Cases Rise)

“I think our fear is that seeing some of those rumblings, that there be an attempt from the federal level or even some of these organizations to try to push for mandatory masking of school children,” DeSantis said during a Monday roundtable, according to Fox News. “And so our view is that this should absolutely not be imposed. It should not be mandated.”

DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw told Fox News that the CDC’s new recommendations are not “based in science” and could end up backfiring by eroding the public’s trust in vaccines.

“There is no indication that areas with mask mandates have performed any better than areas without mask mandates,” Pushaw said. “In fact, this policy could actually backfire.”

“Mandating masks for vaccinated people erodes public trust and confidence in the effectiveness of the vaccines,” she added. “To me it appears that the government wants to be perceived as ‘doing something’ during a seasonal infection surge, even if their policy does not necessarily make people safer.”

The Florida governor has been a vocal opponent of mask mandates and has chosen to keep Florida one of the most open states in the country during the pandemic.