During a recent visit to the University of South Florida in Tampa for a Wednesday press conference, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis told students to remove their face coverings, according to a report from WFLA.
After ascending to the podium to detail funding for a cyber education curriculum, the Republican governor informed the students seated behind him that they did “not have to wear those masks.”
“I mean, please take them off,” DeSantis continued, “honestly, it’s not doing anything and we’ve gotta stop with this COVID theater.”
After requesting for students to remove the masks, DeSantis reaffirmed that it was ultimately their decision.
“So if you want to wear it, fine, but this is ridiculous,” the governor concluded.
Following his remarks, DeSantis shook is head in disbelief and aggravation prior to commencing the press conference, as observed by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
However, two students respected the governor’s requests and removed their masks after his comments.
Over the past year, the Florida governor has made numerous attempts to block mask mandates. In one effort, DeSantis signed an executive order that would deny funding to public schools if they continued to have mask mandates for students in place.
In addition, he also supported a proposal from the House, which suggested the removal of $200M in funding from twelve different school districts that disregarded DeSantis’s ban on mask mandates.
The Republican governor also suggested that parents should be able to file lawsuits against school districts if their children were forcibly subjected to “illegal” mask mandates in schools. The lawsuits are especially applicable for students who suffer from physical, emotional, or speech problems.
In the past week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) passed new guidance, which declared that wearing masks indoors for the majority of individuals in the United States is no longer necessary, provided that the “COVID-19 community level” qualifies as “medium” or “low.”