Irked by the sight of scholars carrying masks at his press convention Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis inspired them to take away the facial coverings, calling their use “COVID theater.”
“You do not need to put on these masks,” DeSantis stated in video captured by WFLA Information Channel 8, Tampa’s NBC station. “Please take them off. Truthfully, it is not doing something. We have gotta cease with this Covid theater. So for those who wanna put on it, fantastic, however that is ridiculous.”
DeSantis then shakes his head in obvious frustration earlier than launching into the press convention on the College of South Florida, which he visited to tout $20 million in funding for cybersecurity coaching. No less than two individuals eliminated their masks on the governor’s request, based on the video.
The governor has outlawed masks mandates in Florida colleges. His remarks to the scholars is proof of his disdain for even voluntary mask-wearing, and mistrust of the science behind it.
The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention launched new masks steering final week that not recommends indoor masks carrying for most individuals in lots of elements of the nation – locations the place the “COVID-19 group degree” is taken into account low or medium.
The CDC nonetheless considers a lot of Florida – together with the Tampa space the place DeSantis was visiting Wednesday – to have a excessive COVID-19 group degree, although, and recommends everybody put on masks indoors in these areas when in public areas.
DeSantis continues accountable Biden for Russian invasion of Ukraine
DeSantis additionally continued accountable President Joe Biden for the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the course of the press occasion, whereas praising the nation’s fighters Wednesday and taking a dig at France.
DeSantis stated Russian President Vladimir Putin possible determined to invade Ukraine after witnessing how the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan performed out.
“I imagine that the choice to enter Ukraine was one which was most likely made final summer season as he is watching what was occurring in Afghanistan… how Biden dealt with that,” DeSantis stated throughout an occasion in Tampa.
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DeSantis has echoed Ukraine speaking factors adopted by many GOP leaders, blaming Biden for the invasion and calling for extra vitality manufacturing in america to restrict the leverage Putin has due to the world’s reliance on Russian oil and gasoline. The governor additionally touched on the Ukrainian resistance Wednesday.
“Whenever you see individuals which can be prepared to combat, I imply it’s inspiring to see these individuals simply seize rifles who’re civilians and going on the market and preventing to chase away the Russian Military,” DeSantis stated. “A variety of different locations world wide, they only fold the minute there’s any sort of adversity. I imply may you think about in the event that they went into France, would they do something to place up a combat? Most likely not.”
DeSantis criticized ‘authoritarian rule’ in locations which have extra restrictive COVID public well being measures
Final week, on the day Russia launched the invasion of Ukraine, DeSantis criticized “authoritarian rule” in locations comparable to Canada and Australia which have extra restrictive COVID-19 public well being measures.
DeSantis additionally supplied his rebuttal to the State of the Union speech Biden delivered Tuesday.
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Biden stated that preventing inflation is a “prime precedence” and tried to steer his celebration from unpopular positions on immigration and police, saying he needs to “fund the police” and safe the southern border.
DeSantis stated Biden’s insurance policies contributed to inflation and immigration points, and accused his administration of being smooth on crime.
“So many of those issues have been created by Biden and his administration since he’s turn into president,” DeSantis stated.
Comply with Herald-Tribune Political Editor Zac Anderson on Twitter at @zacjanderson. He will be reached at email@example.com
This text initially appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: DeSantis tells Tampa college students face masks are ‘COVID theater’