'No Restrictions, No Mandates': DeSantis Moves to Block School Mask Requirements, Empower Parents

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Posted: Jul 30, 2021 2:45 PM
'No Restrictions, No Mandates': DeSantis Moves to Block School Mask Requirements, Empower Parents

Source: AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis isn't taking the push for additional Wuhan coronavirus restrictions and mandates sitting down. Criticizing recent mandates as "a movement to impose more restrictions on the American people," DeSantis announced an executive order on Friday to protect Florida parents' right to decide whether their children wear masks in schools this fall, regardless of any mandates.

"In Florida, there will be no lockdowns, there will be no school closures, there will be no restrictions and no mandates in the state of Florida," DeSantis declared at the event in Cape Coral announcing his action.

"I'll be signing an executive order which directs the Florida Department of Education and Department of Health to issue emergency rules protecting the rights of parents to make this decision about wearing masks for their children," DeSantis explained. "We think that that's the most fair way to do it."

"I have young kids," he continued, adding "my wife and I are not going to do the masks with the kids, we never have — I want to see my kids smiling, I want them having fun." 

"We were told that the off-ramp was vaccination, now we're told that that's not going to be the case and that you're going to have to do masking, you may have to do restrictions and potentially other severe forms of mitigation," DeSantis noted of the CDC and President Biden's recent announcements of vaccine mandates and a return to mask mandates. More restrictions "will have a devastating impact on so many peoples' lives and livelihoods and freedoms," he added.

Slamming the CDC's guidance as being done "so ham-handedly," DeSantis said the Biden administration "really shows a callous disregard for the physical, emotional, and academic wellbeing of our children." 

"They need to be put first," he said of children. "We had this whole year and a half where so many people in our society wanted to put the kids last," DeSantis explained. "They wanted to impose most of the most extreme mitigation on the kids that were the least likely to face any negative harm from this."

The executive order from DeSantis comes after the Broward Country public school district announced that all students would be mandated to wear masks when they return to school at the end of the summer.

His announcement Friday echoed remarks made earlier this week in an address to the American Legislative Exchange Council. "No to lockdowns, no to school closures, and no mandates," DeSantis told a Utah audience, adding Americans "should not be consigned to live... in a Faucian dystopia." 

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