In this episode of “Gov. Ron DeSantis Is Trying to Kill Floridians,” the Florida governor announced a new “symptom-based” approach to COVID-19 quarantine rules, allowing children without symptoms to go to class even if they were exposed to the virus.
Floridians, the idea that y’all are not high-tailing it out of the state en masse is really impressive.
If you remember, The Root reported that DeSantis threatened to fine city and county governments $5,000 for each employee required to get the vaccine in order to work. Before that, he banned mask mandates in schools and threatened to withhold funding from schools that implemented them. Oh, and we can’t forget about DeSantis supporting misinformation and ignoring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
Now that we’ve gotten through the season recap, DeSantis is literally inviting children to die in what could be Florida’s season finale.
According to CNN, DeSantis announced the new policy on Wednesday, stating that keeping seemingly healthy children at home can hinder their educational advancement and disrupt their families.
Do you know what else gets in the way of a child’s education and disrupts their families? Death by COVID.
What makes this worse is the governor making this announcement alongside the state’s new surgeon general and Department of Health Secretary, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, who for the record, also doesn’t support school closures, lockdowns, or vaccine and mask mandates, according to NBC affiliate WESH.
“If somebody is symptomatic, of course they stay home. If there’s a close contact, but somebody has not developed any symptoms — you monitor them, you notify the parent,” DeSantis said, according to CNN. “The parent always has the right to have their kids stay home, if they think that’s in the best interest of the student and the family 100 percent, we would not want to intrude on that. But if a parent has a healthy child, that child has a right to be in school.”
And if you’re wondering if students will at least be required to get tested after exposure to COVID, with symptoms or not, the answer is no. WESH notes that the order does not require any testing for those who come in contact with a COVID-positive individual.
Here’s more from WESH:
Ladapo said the policy of quarantining all exposed children has no proven benefit and that it’s important “to respect the rights of parents.”
“We respect that some parents may be less comfortable sending their children back to school after being exposed and so the new rule allows for those parents to keep their children at home for a period of time. And the new rule allows parents who are more comfortable letting their healthy child to go back to school, go back to school. So that’s how we’re gonna, that’s how we’re gonna lead public health it makes sense,” said Ladapo.
One day, DeSantis’ administration will learn to respect COVID and all her line sisters Delta, Eta, Iota, Kappa and Lambda (I’m not joking. These actually exist among many, many more). Until then, let’s hope more Florida counties like Broward and Alachua continue to protect their school systems despite the heavy financial penalties.