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WATCH: Ron DeSantis scolds students for wearing masks

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (Photo: Gage Skidmore, via CC BY-SA 2.0)

Florida has been in the news a lot over the last couple of weeks…. Usually for all the wrong reasons. Its lawmakers are currently processing the passage of its hateful ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, which bars teachers from discussing LGBTQ issues to primary school kids or any students not deemed old enough to handles such topics of conversation.

Besides this, the state has long been a flag bearer for resisting federal advice on how to best handle the Covid pandemic. It has previously threatened to sue or withhold funding from schools that implement mask mandates.

Related: FL Gov. straight-washes Pulse massacre by omitting any mention of LGBTQ people in proclamation

Leading this charge is its Republican Governor, Ron DeSantis. Yesterday, footage emerged of him scolding a bunch of students for wearing masks. The youngsters were lined up behind him at a press conference at the University of South Florida. On seeing the kids were wearing masks, a testy DeSantis made it clear that they could take them off.

“You do not have to wear those masks. I mean, please take them off. Honestly, it’s not doing anything and we need to stop with this Covid theater.

“So if you want to wear it, fine, but this is ridiculous.”

Some of the students then took off their masks, while others kept them on. DeSantis stepped up to the lectern, shaking his head, before starting the press conference.

Last month, DeSantis, who is regarded as a frontrunner in the GOP Presidential race for 2024, backed a proposal to strip $200m in education funding from Democratic counties that defied his executive order last year banning mask mandates in schools.

DeSantis has also suggested he will likely sign the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill if it passes the Senate, where it is due to be debated imminently.

He told reporters in early February it was “entirely inappropriate” for teachers to talk to younger students about gender identity. Desantis continued, “Schools need to be teaching kids to read, to write. They need to teach them science, history. We need more civics and understanding of the U.S. Constitution, what makes our country unique, all those basic things.”

Basic things like not bothering to wear a face mask, it would seem.

Related: Ron DeSantis just reminded everyone he’s a pile of homophobic garbage, in case anyone forgot 

Online, many found DeSantis’ behavior reprehensible.