In an editorial published on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, the Gainesville Sun Editorial Board called on Governor DeSantis and state Republicans to stop disregarding Floridians’ public health by attempting to institute mask and vaccine bans. At a time when over 58,000 Floridians have lost their lives to COVID-19, Republicans are doubling down on anti-science policies that could cost even more lives.
The editorial mentions State Sen. Keith Perry, R-Gainesville, introducing legislation that would ban local governments and school boards from mandating masks and vaccines: “Perry wrote on Twitter that the bill would ‘further codify’ the medical liberties of all Floridians and fight against government overreach.” What Perry forgets to mention, is the right that other Floridians have to life, which is disregarded by this irresponsible act passing as legislation.
“Amid a summer surge in COVID-19 cases, Alachua County Public Schools used expert advice from University of Florida physicians and others in mandating masks when the school year started. By limiting the spread of COVID, masks have helped keep students in class and prevented the closures that occur when schools let the virus spread unchecked.”
“DeSantis also reversed his position from earlier in the pandemic that local governments are best suited to decide whether local conditions necessitate measures such as mask requirements.”
“Rather than ‘fighting against the cities and counties’ that take such steps, pro-business Republicans such as Perry should support ways to give customers greater confidence that they can shop at local stores without risking infection.
“Perry claims to be codifying the “medical liberties of all Floridians,” but his bill would only protect the rights of COVID-infected Floridians to threaten the lives of others.”