Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has recently issued a series of pardons to residents across the state of Florida who were still tasked with facing fines and other various penalties for presumably violating pandemic-related orders instituted by local governments.
Per DeSantis, the pardons are “necessary” for continuing to foster economic recovery, as well as for having “a good transition to normal operations.” While announcing the pardons earlier in the week, DeSantis also added that many of the restrictions had been “way, way overboard.”
Mike and Jillian Carnevale, who are former gym owners, were in attendance at the clemency board meeting, wherein the pardons were issued. The Carnevales had been arrested on repeated occasions and suffered from business closures due to their refusal to force gym members to wear masks while they were exercising in the facilities.
Mike Carnevale, however, argues that both “wellness” and “health” have always “one of our foundational responsibilities to ourselves.” Moreover, the federal government has never assumed the role of “lawfully” and “legally” dictating various mandates regarding wellness and health. For this reason, Carnevale is “really grateful for” the actions taken by DeSantis.
Jillian Carnevale also added that she and her husband are “business owners,” rather than “criminals,” which is precisely why it feels “really good” to finally be able to move forward.
Mike Carnevale was apparently arrested on three different occasions for refusing to adhere to mask mandates passed by the local government, and his business was eventually seized. However, Carnevale stated that he and his wife did not deserve to be treated as though they were criminals.
DeSantis concurred, noting, “we’ve got to stop that” in order to “focus on the real criminals.”
In addition, DeSantis also observed that the Carnevales employed “common sense” in the decision-making process regarding mask mandates within their gym.
For instance, DeSantis remarked that if someone is “in good shape,” chances are high that they will “handle COVID 99.99 percent of the time.” In addition, DeSantis also remarking that closing gyms, encouraging takeout, and watching Netflix all day do not constitute favorable actions for human health.
“So, one of the best things you can do for COVID is to be in good health,” DeSantis concluded.
Not all critics were in support of DeSantis’s decision to issue the series of pardons, including Nikki Fried, the Democrat candidate for governor, who argued that DeSantis’s decision was little more than a “politically motivated stunt.”
In a statement released after DeSantis’s decision, Fried argued that she voted in favor of upholding laws, whereas the “so-called pro-law enforcement governor” is presumably encouraging residents to not follow the law with various “stunts” motivated by politics.