Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office slammed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention following the agency’s suggestion that all students in K-12 schools should wear face masks this school year, regardless of their vaccination status. DeSantis’ office took a hard stance against the CDC recommendation, describing their approach as “unscientific.”
On Tuesday, the CDC issued a revised set of guidelines for mask-wearing, announcing that in light of the spread of the Delta variant, it was returning to recommending mask-wearing indoors, even for the vaccinated, if they are living in areas where cases are on the rise. The CDC also recommended that in order for schools to return to in-person instruction, all individuals, including students, mask up — even if they’ve already received the vaccine.
DeSantis spokesperson Christina Pushaw rebuked the CDC, and reiterated the Florida governor’s longstanding approach to opposing mask mandates for children.
“It isn’t based in science. There is no indication that areas with mask mandates have performed any better than areas without mask mandates. In fact, this policy could actually backfire,” Pushaw told Fox News on Tuesday.
“Mandating masks for vaccinated people erodes public trust and confidence in the effectiveness of the vaccines. 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,'” Pushaw said.
DeSantis has long opposed mandating masks for children who attend in-person learning. At a Monday event, he stated that “our view” is that “this should absolutely not be imposed.”
“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. And so our view is that this should absolutely not be imposed,” DeSantis said, per transcripts provided to Rebel News. “It should not be mandated.”
“In Florida, at this point, our school districts have proposed the mask [as] optional,” DeSantis said, adding that the Florida legislature is “interested in coming in, even in a special session to be able to provide protections for parents and kids who just want to breathe freely and don’t want to be suffering under these masks during the school year.”
DeSantis’ position against mask mandates conflicts with the CDC’s recommendations, many of which have been informed in part by the largest teachers’ unions in the United States — the American Federation of Teachers, and the National Education Association, both of which called for the imposition of mask mandates.