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Governor Pushes Back Against Increasing Calls for School Mask Mandates

July 27th, 2021 by Jake Stofan

The CDC announced Tuesday it is now recommending universal masking in schools when students return in the fall.

Governor Ron DeSantis pushed back against the idea in an unnoticed roundtable held Monday with medical experts opposed to masking children.

The doctors blamed masking children for higher rates of mental illness and cast doubt on their efficacy.

The Governor’s office didn’t provide notice of the roundtable until six hours after it had ended.

A recording shows the discussion focused on the same topic that resulted in another roundtable being removed from YouTube in April: Masking children.

“This should absolutely not be imposed. It should not be mandated,” said DeSantis.

Participating doctors cast doubts on the effectiveness of masking in schools.

“The correlational evidence I think is mixed and there’s literally no randomized evidence whatsoever for these masks in schools,” said Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a Professor of Medicine at Stanford University.

Los Angeles child psychologist Dr. Mark McDonald blamed masks in part for a 300 and 400 percent increase in depression and anxiety in children.

“Mental illness is a catastrophe in this country, primarily due to lock downs in children, but the masks is not helping. The masks are nothing more than a symbol of fear and anxiety,” said Dr. McDonald.

Chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Disease at the Tufts University School of Medicine Dr. H. Cody Meissner also called the American Academy of Pediatrics’ universal masking recommendation ‘virtue signaling’.

“People like to say they’re basing their decisions on science, but they’re not. They’re basing their recommendations on emotion,” said Der. Meissner.

Democratic Commissioner of Agriculture and Gubernatorial hopeful Nikki Fried called the roundtable ‘one sided’.

“And look, if he’s not going to come in and he’s not going to have a mask mandate for our state, at least give people the tools to make proper decisions,” said Fried.

Fried also criticized the lack of transparency around the discussion and called on the Governor to return to daily reporting of COVID data.

We asked the Governor’s Office why the event was closed to the public and the media.

DeSantis Press Secretary Christina Pushaw told us, “We recorded the entire roundtable discussion to post on Rumble so it’s accessible to media and the general public. We generally use Rumble for public videos these days, after experiencing censorship from YouTube several months ago.”

The full video of the roundtable can be found here.

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