Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says that the Sunshine State will not be requiring children to wear masks when they return to school — even if there is a federal mandate.
DeSantis explained that there’s been talk at the federal level about potentially imposing compulsory masks for kids, and that Florida will not be complying if they do.
“It’s totally unacceptable and certainly unacceptable to have any level of government imposing that on parents and on kids,” DeSantis said while speaking at a bill signing event in Fort Pierce on Thursday.
The governor stated, in no uncertain terms, “we need our kids to breathe.”
“There’s been talk about potentially people advocating at the federal level, imposing compulsory masks on kids,” DeSantis said. “We’re not doing that in Florida, OK? We need our kids to breathe.”
DeSantis noted that parents who want their children to wear masks can still choose to do so.
“Parents obviously can equip their kids to go to school however they want, but there shouldn’t be any coercive mandates on our schools,” he said, adding that masks are “terribly” uncomfortable for kids.
“At the end of the day, we gotta start putting our kids first. We’ve gotta look out for their education, is it really comfortable, is it really healthy for them to be muzzled and have their breathing obstructed all day long in school?” DeSantis said. “I don’t think it is. And I look to think, I have a 3-year-old son, and you’ve got people like Fauci saying he should be muzzled, that you should be throwing masks at these 3-year-old kids. It’s totally unacceptable.”
“There’s not very much science behind it, but there’s some schools we had that didn’t do masks, others did, the outcomes were not meaningfully different,” the governor said.