Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s office blasted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Tuesday for suggesting that all individuals in K-12 schools should wear face masks regardless of whether they’ve been vaccinated, castigating the agency for what he called an unscientific approach to the COVID-19 virus.
The CDC revised its guidelines for mask-wearing on Tuesday, announcing that, in light of the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant, it was returning to recommending indoor mask-wearing, even for vaccinated individuals, if they are living in areas where COVID-19 cases are spiking. The CDC also recommended that, in order to return to full-time in-person instruction, all individuals in K-12 institutions mask up, even if they are fully vaccinated.
DeSantis’s spokesperson criticized the latter approach, rebuking the CDC and reiterating the Florida governor’s long-held position, 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,” DeSantis press secretary Christina 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 added.
DeSantis himself has been vocally opposed to mandating masks for children who attend school in person, telling a roundtable event on Monday 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 at the event. “It should not be mandated.”
“[I]n Florida, at this point, our school districts have proposed the mask [as] optional,” DeSantis noted. He even went so far as to say 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.”
As The Daily Wire noted earlier Tuesday, the CDC appears to have followed recommendations made by the nation’s largest teachers unions — the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association — in suggesting that “everyone in K-12 schools wear a mask, regardless of their vaccination status,” per CNN.
AFT president Randi Weingarten, who reportedly had a direct influence on CDC policy regarding a return to classrooms for in-person instruction, according to Fox News, has continued “to push for face masks to be worn in schools,” per Newsweek, even though nearly 90% of teachers who belong to the AFT are vaccinated.
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