Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Politics

CDC Director rebukes DeSantis for scolding high school students over masks: ‘It is absolutely their choice’

“Those students should have been comfortable wearing a mask,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky said on MSNBC. “It is absolutely their choice.”

Her comments come one day after the Republican governor told the group of students, who were standing behind the podium where he was set to speak at the University of South Florida: “You do not have to wear those masks, I mean please take them off.”

“Honestly, it’s not doing anything, we’ve gotta stop with this Covid theater. So, if you want to wear it, fine. But this is ridiculous,” DeSantis had said on Wednesday. Some of the students took off their masks while others left them on.

Hillsborough County School District told CNN the students at the event were from Middleton High School. According to the CDC, Hillsborough County’s community spread of Covid-19 is high and wearing masks indoors is recommended.

The comments underscored DeSantis’ fierce opposition to pandemic mitigation measures such as masks, vaccine mandates and managed shutdowns. The Florida governor has gained more attention than perhaps any Republican leader in the country by flouting the scientific community’s advice and keeping Florida open, earning him a spot atop the list of future GOP presidential contenders.

Last summer, DeSantis signed an executive order barring schools from requiring students to wear masks, and last month, he said he favored the ability of parents to sue schools that bucked his ban on mask mandates.

And despite a raft of backlash to his Wednesday comments, DeSantis continued to rail against Covid-19 mitigation measures at a press conference in Panama City on Thursday.

“What we’ve seen, particularly over the last two years, has been a very politicized medical establishment and they kind of have certain views. A lot of times they’re informed by political ideology, unfortunately,” the governor claimed.

Florida has surpassed 70,000 deaths from Covid-19 after its latest surge in hospitalizations amid the Omicron variant, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Although the CDC recently updated its masking guidance, masking is still considered a “critical public health tool,” according to the agency’s website.

Per the agency’s updated mask guidance, more than 70% of the US population was in a location with low or medium Covid-19 community levels. For those areas, there is no recommendation for indoor masking unless you are at potential “increased risk” for Covid-19 and if so, the CDC recommends talking to your health care provider about wearing a mask.

At all levels, the CDC recommends people get vaccinated and boosted, and get tested if they have symptoms.

CNN’s Anokhi Saklecha contributed to this report.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You May Also Like

Politics

This is now the American position on Taiwan after President Joe Biden said, for at least the third time, that the US would be...

Politics

But Nguyen, a state lawmaker who has helped lead the fight against Republican efforts to restrict voting in this presidential battleground, framed the mission...

Politics

The discussions are in very preliminary stages and a proposal has not been presented to President Joe Biden for a decision, the sources added....

Politics

Within hours, his White House aides insisted that the President’s comments did not constitute any official US policy change, despite the fact that Biden...

Politics

“I think Twitter is going down,” he wrote on his Truth Social social media platform. “Bots, Spam, Fake Accounts (and more!), all add up...

Politics

The President argued the US has made “significant progress” in its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, which he said has put America in a...

Politics

“Alone, you can only do so much. Any one of us can only do so much,” said Biden in remarks at the Ecuadorean presidential...

Politics

“Don’t believe the polling,” Kemp told a crowd Saturday near his hometown of Athens. But behind the mask of caution, Kemp and his team...