Speaking in Zephyrhills on Monday, Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis took aim at both Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, the second-largest teachers labor union in America, as well as Dr. Anthony Fauci. He pointed out that Weingarten, who had favored keeping schools closed through much of the pandemic, had been found maskless recently, but protested she did so because it was too hard to communicate while wearing a mask. DeSantis fired, “Well, how do you think these schoolchildren have felt for the last year?”
Regarding Fauci, DeSantis asserted, “I do think just the lack of just leveling with the public, I think it’s been very detrimental … I think you’re gonna see people have really, really serious misgivings the next time St. Fauci comes down the pike and says something.”
Speaking of mask mandates for schoolchildren, DeSantis said, “I think the smiles matter, and particularly the young kids. You will actually have school districts that will say, ‘We are relieving mask mandate for high schoolers but we’re keeping them on those elementary.” First of all, I don’t think you should have a mask mandate, period, but the elementary are the ones that need to be able to see the interaction more than anything, cause they’re learning to speak and read and do all that stuff.”
“And it’s absolutely critical. And don’t tell me it doesn’t make a difference,” he continued. DeSantis referenced Weingarten, who had said, “We took them off as people were having a hard time hearing us,” snapping, “Heck, this head of the teachers union who tried to keep the schools closed all last year; she was found maskless, and she said, I took it off because it was too hard to understand each other wearing the mask.”
He fired, “Well, how do you think these schoolchildren have felt for the last year?”
DeSantis continued later, “I think you need to have an honest conversation about it and make sure that people are able to make informed decisions. But it is absolutely rational to look at your personal circumstances and I think most people who oppose the mandates, I’ve not heard anyone say that COVID isn’t real; they understand it’s real but they also understand that different people are at different risks depending on their age, their health, a whole host of different things, and prior infection. So making those decisions, that’s absolutely common sense. We’re protecting people’s ability to make those decisions.”
“And unfortunately, you have a lot of stuff that’s happened with the CDC,” he charged. “With the booster for the general public, the FDA recommended against it; their two leading people in the FDA resigned in protest because they said this was being politicized. Can you imagine if that happened under Trump? Corporate press would have a meltdown; this would be like 24/7, CNN, MSNBC; it would be non-stop. That happened under Biden and then CDC overruled FDA on that, and I think that was more political.”
“So the idea that people shouldn’t look at that and factor that into what they may be doing? Of course (that’s what) they should be doing. But I do think just the lack of just leveling with the public, I think it’s been very detrimental, and look, this COVID vaccine is one thing, there’s a whole host of other things regarding people’s health, and I think you’re gonna see people have really, really serious misgivings the next time St. Fauci comes down the pike and says something or any of these other people because I don’t think most Americans believe they’ve been entirely truthful throughout the course of this pandemic,” he concluded.
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