Last week, DeSantis signed an executive order telling Florida school districts that they may not impose mask mandates on their schools.
On Monday, the governor’s office said that if any school districts establish mask mandates in defiance of his order, the State Board of Education may withhold the salaries of school superintendents and school board members until they end the mask mandates.
“The State Board of Education could move to withhold the salary of the district superintendent or school board members, as a narrowly tailored means to address the decision-makers who led to the violation of law,” the governor’s office said in a statement to the press.
This is what needs to be done. Hit the leftists in the pocketbook when they defy the law. You might be thinking, isn’t DeSantis defying the law when he goes against the CDC’s guidance? Not at all. Believe it or not, the federal government is not supposed to be more powerful than the states. There is nothing in the US Constitution that says the federal government can order states to do anything during a pandemic. And besides, if Democrat governors can write executive orders destroying their constituents’ rights and freedoms, then a Republican governor can create orders to protect them.
“The vagueness of the order led some to criticize the governor for seemingly threatening to withhold education funds meant to help support children in public schools,” CBS News noted and said that the statement was only meant to “clarify” it.
DeSantis gave the order apparently in response to the so-called “guidance” that came out last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that all students K-12 must wear masks.
The CDC has come under fire recently for sending mixed signals on COVID policy. CDC director Rochelle Walensky got caught lying numerous times over the past few weeks. For example, when asked to justify mask mandates for school children, Walensky said that CDC data says that more children have died from COVID than the flu, but the CDC’s data actually shows the exact opposite. In fact, almost twice as many children have died from influenza as from COVID. The CDC also used a study from India to justify mask mandates when the study was rejected at peer review all the way up to the day before the CDC wanted to use it. They may have forced the peer review site to change the status of the study from “reject” to “revise.” And to make matters worse, the rejected study was for a COVID vaccine that isn’t even approved yet in the United States.
“Due to the circulating and highly contagious Delta variant, CDC recommends universal indoor masking by all students (age 2 and older), staff, teachers, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status,” the troubled agency announced on its website.
DeSantis is making a habit out of defying the CDC. At least twice before this, he has been at odds with the once distinguished science agency.
The first time the Florida governor defied the CDC was when he decided that the state’s elderly would be vaccinated first while the CDC wanted another group to get first priority like postal workers, first responders, grocery store workers, teachers, and others.
“In Florida, we’ve got to put our parents and grandparents first and that’s what we’re going to be doing,” DeSantis told reporters. “And we’re going to work like hell to be able to get all the vaccines out to elderly who want it.”
That decision, when compared to many other states that followed the CDC guidelines, saved thousands of lives. He made the decision after consulting doctors and medical experts who do the real work and not the bureaucrats and political hacks at the CDC.
The next time DeSantis defied the CDC was on the matter of vaccine passports and lockdowns. The governor issued an executive order that went against the CDC’s general outlook and suggested to his attorney general to sue the CDC in federal court to reopen the cruise lines.
When the Norwegian cruise line said they didn’t want to reopen to passengers who didn’t provide proof of being vaccinated, a spokesperson for the governor didn’t play ball with the cruise line.
“Beginning July 1, Florida law will prohibit vaccine passports. Until then, we expect all government and private entities to abide by the governor’s executive order banning vaccine passports,” the governor’s communications director Taryn Fenske said in early May.
“Passengers have been able to safely cruise from international ports for months without being required to divulge their COVID vaccination status. As soon as the CDC ends its unconstitutional prohibition on cruises, passengers will be able to do the same from Florida ports,” she added.
The Tampa Bay Times reported of the lawsuit that was filed that “Legal experts say the lawsuit has very little chance of proceeding. The federal government has very broad control to regulate ports of entry and international commerce.”
Guess what? The legal experts were wrong. A federal appeals court ruled that Florida did have a point and temporarily slapped down the CDC cruise ban.
Now, DeSantis is acting defiantly against the CDC again, this time on mask mandates in schools. He has doubts about the efficacy and safety of masks being able to stop the spread of COVID. Immunologists have told us that the virus is much smaller than most mask fabric and it can get in there. On top of the psychological, health and other problems that wearing masks all day long inside a classroom cause for children, it’s known that transmission among children is so low that it’s not worth the risks that mandatory masking will cause.
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It seems that Ron DeSantis isn’t defying the CDC to be a tough guy. To the contrary, he is being tough on protecting the people who need it most while protecting the freedoms of American citizens at the same time so that they can live their lives. That’s why we have government, not to control every aspect of our lives. I am fairly confident that the governor will be proven right on this one too. Godspeed.
Rich is a conservative syndicated opinion writer and runs Maga-Chat.com. He writes about politics, culture, liberty, and faith.
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