The ruling comes as another blow to DeSantis’ aim to block mask mandates in schools
As the Delta variant of the coronavirus sweeps across the country, some state officials are reluctant to propose mask mandates in high-risk areas like schools or daycare centers. No governor has been more vocal than Florida’s Ron DeSantis. Previously, DeSantis had vowed to withhold funding to any school district in his state that required students, staff, and visitors to wear a mask. The state’s Second Circuit Judge John Cooper found Florida schools were within their rights to enforce mask mandates, ruling against DeSantis’ appeal, CNN reports.
This new ruling allows the districts to enforce mask rules without fearing consequences from the DeSantis administration, (at least until a higher court rules on the appeal).
DeSantis appealed the earlier ruling by the same judge that allowed the school districts’ to impose mandates. The initial ruling handed down stated the governor’s executive order banning mask mandates was “without legal authority,” according to Axios.
Twitter user BrooklynDad Defiant! posted in support of the ruling. “Take that, DeSantis!” he tweeted.
It’s not over, though. DeSantis’ appeal moves on to the First District Court of Appeal, says CNN. “They’ll thoroughly consider the arguments of all parties, and they’ll make a decision, then it may or may not end up at the Florida Supreme Court,” the judge said.
“It’s undisputed that the Delta variant is far more infectious than the prior version of the virus, and that children are more susceptible to the Delta variant than to the form from a year ago,” Judge Cooper’s ruling continued.
“In particular for children under 12, they cannot be vaccinated. Therefore, there’s really only one or two means to protect them against the virus as either stay at home, or mask.”
This has been a bad week for DeSantis. On Tuesday, Anthony Fauci WENT IN on the Florida governor’s prior claim that getting the COVID vaccine should be a personal choice that “really doesn’t impact me or anyone else.”
Fauci wasn’t having it. “When you’re dealing with an outbreak of an infectious disease, it isn’t only about you,” the internationally renowned communicable disease expert said of the governor who seems to base his administration on whatever he thinks will endear him to the QAnon crowd. Fauci went on to explain how community leaders should act during a pandemic: “There’s a societal responsibility that we all have.”