Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) held a press conference Friday, where he said he will be issuing an executive order “protecting the rights of parents,” permitting them to make decisions about masks in schools in this upcoming school year.
“In Florida, there will be no lockdowns, there will be no school closures, there will be no restrictions and no mandates in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis feels Florida’s parents should be allowed to decide about masking issues for their own child’s safety.
The pending executive order runs in direct conflict with certain Florida school districts deciding to mandate masks for children.
Broward County School Board members unanimously decided to mandate masks.
“The mask is the only thing you really have to minimize your chance of getting COVID,” Broward School Board Chair Rosalind Osgood said Wednesday.
Osgood’s claim that masks are the only thing preventing COVID runs contrary to a study from the National Center for Biotechnological Information published in November 2020 on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website saying evidence supporting the claim that masks work are “lacking.”
“Although, scientific evidence supporting facemasks’ efficacy is lacking, adverse physiological, psychological and health effects are established,” the study said.
The conclusion of the study states:
“The existing scientific evidences challenge the safety and efficacy of wearing facemask as preventive intervention for COVID-19. The data suggest that both medical and non-medical facemasks are ineffective to block human-to-human transmission of viral and infectious disease such SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, supporting against the usage of facemasks. Wearing facemasks has been demonstrated to have substantial adverse physiological and psychological effects. These include hypoxia, hypercapnia, shortness of breath, increased acidity and toxicity, activation of fear and stress response, rise in stress hormones, immunosuppression, fatigue, headaches, decline in cognitive performance, predisposition for viral and infectious illnesses, chronic stress, anxiety and depression. Long-term consequences of wearing facemask can cause health deterioration, developing and progression of chronic diseases and premature death.”
The study has since been retracted and pulled from the NIH website.
DeSantis has previously warned against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) new recommendations for children in K-12 school systems.
Broward School Board member Sarah Leonardi said she is still expecting to see a rise in cases in her district based on DeSantis’ decision.
“It is a disappointing decision,” Leonardi said. “I fear that with that decision we will see increases in cases in our schools and our communities.”
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