Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis has pledged to “account” for “the harm” caused by school mask mandates if he becomes president.
The Florida governor made the remarks Wednesday in a Facebook post. The post commented on a Fox News story about an elementary school in Maryland imposing a 10-day requirement for a class to wear N95 masks after at least three people tested positive for the virus.
As Republicans increasingly voice concerns that mask mandates and other COVID-related restrictions will become widespread again, mandates in effect recently have been limited to a small handful of local institutions across the country. , including schools and hospitals.
DeSantis claimed the temporary mandate in Maryland was proof that an indefinite “they” were trying to “muzzle our children” in service of a “political agenda.” He touted Florida’s ban on warrants before pledging to take action against states with different policies than the White House if he wins next year.
“They want to muzzle your kids,” DeSantis wrote. “These warrants are DOA in the State of Florida because we have protections in place for parents and children.
When I am president, there will be accounts for the harm they have done to children by pursuing a political agenda. »
It was unclear exactly what DeSantis’ “calculation” of school mask mandates would entail. Neither President Joe Biden nor former President Donald Trump dictated state or local mask policies from the Oval Office.
News week requested additional comment on the DeSantis campaign via the online press contact form on Wednesday evening.
DeSantis signed a law in May that bans vaccine and mask mandates in Florida, while offering doctors protection and patients the “right to try” treatments that are neither safe nor effective for COVID, such as than ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.
Governor doubled down on charges of masking as ‘COVID theater’ last year after he was accused of ‘bullying’ a group of high school students who voluntarily chose to wear masks at a press conference in Tampa.
Most medical experts recommend wearing masks during times of high transmission or in health care settings, citing a wealth of medical research that indicates effectiveness in reducing, but not completely stopping, the spread of the virus.
An ad released in July by Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis’ “Mamas for DeSantis” initiative laments that Americans have been “forced into silence” and “conformity” during the pandemic as images of children in mask-resistant tears are shown.
While the governor’s presidential campaign includes pledges to resist new COVID-related restrictions, the same pledge has been made by other Republican candidates for 2024. Trump, by far the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, has urged his supporters to “not comply” with the new mandates in a video last week.
There is no indication that the federal government is considering imposing a mask-wearing mandate or other restrictions. Either way, conspiracy theories claiming otherwise have been on the rise, peaking this week with the announcement that Biden would be wearing a mask due to first lady Jill Biden testing positive for the virus.
USA News Gb2