Ron DeSantis, more than any other governor in the country, has politicized mask wearing. He has regularly pointed to his state as a model for how COVID-19 should be handled.
At the same time, Florida is in the top 5 states for both total COVID deaths and cases. And right now, the virus is surging in Florida with 20% of new cases originating there.
During today’s press briefing, Jen Psaki was asked about DeSantis‘ recent declaration that masks would not be required in Florida schools this year. He told reporters, “We’re not doing that in Florida, okay? We want kids to be able to be kids. We need them to be able to breathe.”
Psaki responded, “If I were a parent in Florida, that would be greatly concerning to me because kids under the age of 12 are not vaccinated. They’re not eligible yet.”
The press secretary continued, “But that puts kids at risk, it’s not aligned with public health guidelines. We know masks are not the most comfortable thing. I will say, my kids are quite adjusted to them, as I know many kids are. So certainly, we would have concern about any step that doesn’t abide by public health guidelines and we think it puts people at greater risk.”
Despite the fact that the Delta variant of COVID-19 is surging in red states, governors like DeSantis still seem compelled to keep making mask wearing a part of the culture war.
Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com and hillreporter.com. He enjoys sports, politics, comic books and spending time at the shore with his family.