Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis set off critics who claimed he yelled at students to take their masks off, even though the governor told the students that they have the option to remove their masks.
While speaking at the University of South Florida on Wednesday, DeSantis told a group of reported high school students that they did not need to wear face masks. “You do not have to wear those masks. Please take them off. Honestly, it’s not doing anything. We’ve gotta stop with this COVID theater. So if you wanna wear it, fine, but this is ridiculous,” he said.
The students then proceed to remove their masks, with at least one student smiling after doing so.
California Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu suggested that DeSantis should take “anger management classes.” (RELATED: DeSantis: Politicians Want You To Cover Your Face As A Way For Them To Cover Their Own A**es)
“Any elected official who feels the need to yell at students is weak, insecure and full of rage. We got a glimpse of @GovRonDesantis ‘ heart today and it is ugly.”
Looks like Governor DeSantis needs some anger management classes.
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) March 2, 2022
Co-founder and executive director of The Democratic Coalition Scott Dworkin said DeSantis should “resign over this alone,” adding that the governor is “weak and pathetic.”
Former spokesperson for Obama Kevin Cate said the footage showed “the real” DeSantis. Other left-leaning individuals and organizations took to Twitter to claim DeSantis was bullying students and having a meltdown.
Yahoo! claimed DeSantis “lashed out” at students.
MSNBC host Chris Hayes then alleged DeSantis took away the student’s freedom of choice and berated high school students.
Obviously it’s totally reasonable and normal to publicly berate a bunch of high school students because they’re wearing masks. (The quoted tweet was corrected and they are, in fact, hs students.)
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) March 2, 2022
National Review reporter Dan McLaughlin hit back at Hayes, noting DeSantis literally told students “if you wanna wear it, fine.”
“Leftists are fuming about the CHOICE he gave them. Legendary.”