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Governor Threatens Special Session to Prevent School Mask Mandates

July 23rd, 2021 by Jake Stofan
Governor Ron DeSantis is drawing a line in the sand when it comes to mask mandates for the upcoming school year. 
 
He is threatening to call lawmakers back to the Capitol if the federal government or school districts move to make masks mandatory. 
 
The pushback comes as Florida continues to see COVID cases rise.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending universal masking for students when they return to school in the fall. 
Governor Ron DeSantis has made it clear that won’t be happening in Florida.
“And I talked to Chris Sprowls, if we need to bring them back in to be able to do something from the legislative perspective, he’s all in to be able to do it,” said DeSantis.
For Representative Anthony Sabatini, who fought local mask mandates in the courts throughout the pandemic, the Governor’s comments are a welcome invitation.
“I wish we would have started this over a year ago, but you know it’s never too late to do the right thing. We should be stripping them of that ability,” said Sabatini.
But former President of the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics Dr. David Paul Robinson said until we fully understand the Delta variant, caution is recommended.
“This Delta variant is so much more infectious that I think we’ve gotta at least go into the year being careful,” said Dr. Robinson.
Democratic lawmakers were quick to criticize the Governor’s eagerness to call lawmakers back to ban mask mandates, something he refused to do when they demanded a special session at the height of the unemployment crisis.
“The fact that he’s pursuing the potential of a special session for mask wearing when he’s ignored it for the actual real crisis that people are facing is another indication that he’s more concerned about running for President,” said Representative Anna Eskamani.
According to the state’s data there have been seven Floridians under the age of 16 who have died from COVID. 
The doctor we spoke with said it’s still too early to know if the Delta variant is more or less dangerous to school aged children.
 
According to CDC data, while COVID cases have risen dramatically in the state, daily COVID deaths have continued to fall since March.

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