Ron DeSantis Issues New Directive For Workers

( Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor of Florida, announced earlier this week that his office is working to give workers in his state freedom from having to wear a mask.

In a video the governor released earlier this week, he said Florida’s surgeon general issued new guidance on mask mandates for workers. On Twitter, DeSantis announced:

“Florida businesses need to stop relying on outdated CDC forced masking of worker requirements. #FLSurgeonGen Ladapo has put out new guidance for Florida workers liberating them from 8 hour forced mask workdays.

“A 9 to 5 job should not be a N-95 job.”

Last week, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, the state’s surgeon general, announced new, big changes to the COVID-19 guidance in Florida, “including pushing back on unscientific corporate masking, reducing isolation for all Floridians including those in schools and daycares, and recommending that physicians should exercise their individual clinical judgment and expertise based on their patients’ needs and preferences.”

In that statement, DeSantis added:

“People want to live freely in Florida, without corporate masking creating a two-tier society and without overbearing isolation for children. We are empowering health care practitioners to follow science, not Fauci’s status quo.”

In the video, DeSantis spoke specifically to those workers in the hospitality and service industries. He talked about how whenever he enters one of those businesses, it’s to attend a big event.

All of the people at those events are “having such a good time,” he said, “and the poor servers are forced to mask.”

The governor said he’s approached some of these workers to ask if they’re allowed to remove their mask, and the reply almost every time is no.

The new guidance issued by the surgeon general includes an end to mask requirements for most of Florida’s workplaces. Schools and childcare centers are also now required to isolate students only for five days, and only if those students actually test positive for COVID-19. State workers must follow those same rules.

In announcing the changes, Ladapo said in a statement:

“The State of Florida has widespread natural and vaccine-induced immunity. Evidence suggests that most secondary transmission occurs early on. Our state will continue to make decisions for Floridians rooted in sound science, not fear, whether they are working or in school.

“This guidance makes clear that all employees at a corporation should not be forced to wear a mask while at work. The guidance recognizes that there are millions of employees in Florida working in industries from hospitality to manufacturing to banking who for no reason whatsoever have been forced to wear a mask at work.”

This new guidance, and the comments made by DeSantis in his latest video, echo the statements the governor made at the Conservative Political Action Conference, which was held late last week in Orlando, Florida.

DeSantis has been positioning Florida at the forefront of pushing back against overburdensome mask mandates and other COVID-19 mitigation efforts as the country is about to mark the two-year anniversary of the outbreak of the pandemic.