DeSantis Explains He Only Bullied High School Students For Freedom

DeSantis Explains He Only Bullied High School Students For Freedom

During a press conference this week, Ronald Dion DeSantis, governor of Florida, decided to berate some high school kids whose job it was to stand behind him while he said whatever it is he wanted to say about "workforce education." Why? They were wearing masks and this made him unhappy.

REMEMBER? Grown-Up Tough Guy Ron DeSantis Stands Up To Masked High School Bullies, Doesn't Even Start To Cry

"You do not have to wear those masks, I mean please take them off," the governor told the students. "Honestly it's not doing anything. We need to stop with this COVID theater. If you want to wear it fine, but this is, this is ridiculous."

Ridiculous? Well, on the one hand we have study after study after study showing that masks reduce transmission of COVID, and on the other, we have Republicans who personally do not like wearing them and would thus like for everyone to kind of just ignore those studies and agree to pretend that masks don't work. That is what Ron DeSantis has decided to believe.

DeSantis spokeswoman Christina Pushaw agreed, tweeting "I mean, someone had to say it, after 2 years of propaganda that terrified and manipulated young people. Breathe free, feel safe and be happy." Propaganda being, I guess, the many scientific studies showing that masking helps reduce transmission.

After being widely criticized for his weird bullying of high school students, DeSantis appeared on Tucker Carlson last night to explain that he has decided to believe masks are not effective and would just really appreciate it if everyone could just go along with him on this. He said he yelled at the students because he did not want them to think that he had requested they wear masks. Because he's not like other governors. He's a cool governor.

Carlson claimed that the reason the media was so outraged about this was because DeSantis telling the kids to take their masks off "refuted the lies that they have told for years" about masking, again failing to note the many, many studies showing that masking helps reduce transmission.

"So just to be clear," Carlson said, "Telling kids they don't actually have to wear masks because masks don't work is bullying, but threatening to throw them out of school and destroy their lives if they don't wear a mask is science."

Actually yes, because again, many, many scientific studies disagree with DeSantis and Carlson's gut feeling that "masks don't work." Also, as someone who got sent home from middle school regularly due to the fact that it was nigh impossible to keep to the "shorts can't be shorter than three inches above the knee" rule while she kept getting taller, may I just say "boo fucking hoo."

DeSantis also claimed that his real goal was to eliminate "two-tier" mask rules, because "you have adults that are unmasked and the students are all masked," suggesting that the reason for this was because adults think they are better than children, rather than the fact that only 54 percent of children ages 12 to 17 are vaccinated.

He and Carlson also griped about servers wearing masks in restaurants, trying to suggest that they were only being required to wear masks because people think they are better than servers, rather than because the servers are interacting with multiple groups of people and also handling food, whereas restaurant patrons are sitting with people they know and interacting with a limited number of people, and are therefore able to do their own risk-assessment. Duh.

Wait til these two learn to read and notice the signs on bathroom walls noting that servers and other restaurant staff are required to wash their hands after using the facilities.

There's a reason the anti-maskers have gone from refusing to wear their own masks to demanding others remove theirs — they want to pretend that everything is over and fine now, and they don't want any visual reminders that we are still in the midst of a pandemic. Not to mention the fact that they are a large part of the reason we are still in the midst of a pandemic. They also don't like looking like assholes.

The Right largely does not understand the concept of harm reduction. They don't understand it when it comes to drugs or when it comes to guns, and they don't understand it when it comes to COVID. They don't get "this doesn't eliminate all risk, but it makes things less risky," particularly when we're talking about something that mildly inconveniences them.


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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse


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