After Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) issued an executive order to ban mask mandates in Florida public schools, a backlash to the order has consumed Florida politics. However, many Republicans like US Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) has voiced strong support for DeSantis’ mask executive order.
“In Florida, there will be no lockdowns,” Governor DeSantis said to cheers at a restaurant in Cape Coral, Fla. “There will be no school closures. There will be no restrictions and no mandates.” DeSantis said as he announced the new anti-mask mandate just before the start of the 2021-22 school year.
Rep. Donalds joins Florida Senate Majority Leader Debbie Mayfield (R) in publicly supporting the governor’s policy, both claiming that parents know what is best for their children over school boards.
Donalds recently got into a heated shouting match with a Democratic member of the House for not wearing his mask. Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a mas mandate for the House Chamber and directed Capitol Police to arrest any staffer and visitor that was not complying with her order.
In a Tweet over the weekend, Congressman Donalds claimed that DeSantis’ Executive Order “protects the rights of parents, and prioritizes the well-being & mental health of Florida’s students.”:
Parents know what health decisions are best for their children- not the government.
Gov. DeSantis’ Executive Order prohibits mask mandates in FL public schools, protects the rights of parents, and prioritizes the well-being & mental health of Florida’s students.
— Byron Donalds (@ByronDonalds) July 30, 2021
The moves made by Florida Republicans are miles away from what high profile state Democrats like Senator Shevrin Jones (D-35) who has called for state-wide mask mandates in schools and the general public, which Democrats have been insisting on since the beginning of the pandemic.
US Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) last July put pressure on DeSantis to make masks mandatory “How many Floridians sickened with coronavirus will take for Gov Ron DeSantis to require masks,” questioned Rep. Wasserman Schultz in 2020.