When COVID-19 first began to make itself known, U.S. President Donald Trump, whose supporters believe that their political opponents are drinking the blood of children who are held hostage in the basement of a pizza parlor in Washington D.C., decided that he did not want to wear a mask because members of his staff told him it made him look weak. Thus, the anti-mask protest began. Today, it’s every Trump-supporting politician’s go-to stance, despite rapidly rising hospitalization numbers due to the virus.
8⃣1⃣5⃣ doctors calling for protecting kids.
1⃣ Ron DeSantis refusing to do the right thing.https://t.co/M1lZRuAldu
— Committee to Protect Health Care (@cmteetoprotect) August 13, 2021
Florida’s Ron DeSantis, in fact, signed a bill making it illegal for any school district to require masks despite evidence that masks are an effective tool in preventing the spread of the virus, leaving Florida’s only universally unvaccinated group, children under 12, more exposed to one another and the virus.
The Committee to Protect Healthcare began a petition to repeal the mask mandate ban in Florida amidst rising numbers and a higher rate of infection among children than in the original COVID variant. More than 800 doctors have since signed that petition.
‘Physicians across Florida are concerned about Florida’s children and their risk of COVID-19 infections. As the virus burns through Florida, health care providers feel we are fighting this fire without any leadership from Gov. Ron DeSantis. Blocking communities from making local decisions to protect themselves with his top-down, one-size-fits-all edict will only make matters worse.’
Florida school district rattled by Covid-related teacher deaths days before classes begin https://t.co/cJSPURCPuY
— ddavid (@ddavid92076847) August 13, 2021
The petition pointed out to DeSantis that banning mask mandates has had less than desirable results, with Florida near the top of the list in infection rates and hospitalizations. In fact, the virus is spreading and causing illness at worse rates today than when schools were originally shut down to protect Florida’s children.
‘This past week, COVID-19 has infected more than 19,000 Floridians every day, the worst weekly infection rate since the pandemic began, and hospitalized an average of 1,800 Floridians daily. In the last week of July, at least 35 children were hospitalized every day for COVID-19 in Florida, a number that is very likely an undercount since Gov. DeSantis stopped sharing COVID-19 statistics.’
How Florida's new COVID data reporting changed the trends – South Florida Sun-Sentinel https://t.co/1QdUGL7abS
— Remove #FascistRon (@SuzeSoFlo) August 13, 2021
The physicians signing the petition all agreed that DeSantis can take steps to mitigate the spread, and suggested three that they felt were most important. Each of them adhere to CDC guidelines around the virus and have worked to contain the spread in other places.
‘One, Gov. DeSantis must repeal his reckless executive order and allow and encourage local school districts to implement safeguards that can minimize COVID-19 spread such as mask-wearing. Two, his administration must resume reporting COVID-19 daily data in full. And three, Gov. DeSantis must do much more to get vaccinations in people’s arms.’
Texas and Florida accounted for nearly 40% of US Covid hospitalizations last week https://t.co/01814EYuSf
— Guardian World (@guardianworld) August 13, 2021