Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced Monday that he won’t be closing schools in the Sunshine State as a result of rising cases of COVID-19.
Speaking at a press conference, DeSantis said “schools will be open in the state of Florida” regardless of how many students or staff members ultimately test positive for the coronavirus, Fox News reported.
“If you look at the data that’s been amassed throughout the pandemic, it’s found that you have worse outcomes by closing schools, and so it’d be so damaging,” the governor explained, according to Fox.
“Kids need to be in school”
DeSantis has long taken a hands-off approach to the pandemic, rejecting the kinds of lockdowns and mandates that have been made popular by President Joe Biden and his ilk.
The governor had already vowed he wouldn’t mandate COVID-19 vaccines in Florida and denounced the idea of “vaccine passports” to gain entry to entertainment venues and places of business.
Now, Fox reports that DeSantis is doubling down, saying “kids need to be in school” and “parents need to be assured that they’re going to be able to send their kids to school.”
“Our universities are going to be open, our state universities, they’re going to have in-person instruction,” DeSantis said Monday, according to Fox. “I think any university that doesn’t do that should have to refund a hundred percent of the tuition to the parents.”
“We’re stopping it”
At another presser the following day, DeSantis spoke alongside Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo on the state’s plan for distributing tests for the coronavirus, which have been in short supply since before the holidays.
DeSantis has said his administration will prioritize older individuals and those at higher risk of severe complications from COVID-19 when it comes to testing.
Ladapo, for his part, noted that there’s a difference between patients being tested for COVID-19 to ensure they receive adequate treatment and individuals who are testing to meet arbitrary requirements for travel and events.
“This fantasy that the federal leadership has painted that you can somehow stop this pandemic by just doing more testing — I’m waiting for more people to realize, it’s completely failed,” Ladapo said Tuesday, according to Fox. “There now have been published papers showing that all of those shutdowns and all of those quarantines hurt kids. And that is a darn shame.”
He added: “That is unacceptable. And we’re stopping it here in Florida.”