[guest post by Dana]
Watching a sitting governor bully kids is not only aggravating, it’s embarrassing as well. You are the adult, for god sake, so freaking act like it. Instead, Gov. DeSantis of Florida chose to take the low, low road to score political points:
— WFLA NEWS (@WFLA) March 2, 2022
And yet it was the governor’s press secretary, speaking on his behalf, who said:
“As the governor said, ‘you can wear them if you want’ but there’s ‘no evidence’ masks make any difference,” said press secretary Christina Pushaw. “That has been clear for a long time, and the data informed our state’s official guidance. Following Florida, the CDC has even stopped recommending mask wearing for most Americans. After two years of mixed messages from health authorities and the media, the governor wants to make sure everyone is aware of the facts and data now, so they can feel free and comfortable without a mask.”
Clearly, there’s a caveat to the governor’s claim that ‘you can wear them if you want’. And that caveat is: if you choose to wear a mask around the governor, you will be publicly humiliated for your decision. A grown man who holds a position of power and influence should not be intimidating high schoolers (or anyone) for erring on the side of caution and masking up. DeSantis is an experienced politician who wants to become the next president. So, exploiting a situation to appeal to his anti-mask base is a golden opportunity for him. And he’ll grab on to it, even if the opportunity requires him to publicly bully kids. Shame on him. Moreover, I’m guessing he has absolutely no clue as to the health condition of these kids. He doesn’t know whether they have underlying health conditions that would make them more at risk. And I’m sure he doesn’t know whether their family members at home are in a health predicament which requires everyone in the household to be extra cautious when out in public. To me, that makes what he did all the worse. He was strutting about and throwing his weight around and thinking *only* of himself and his political future. He didn’t give one iota about those kids, didn’t think of their needs or lives, and only saw them as useful tools to advance himself.