- 815 physicians signed an open letter asking Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to repeal his anti-mask laws.
- DeSantis issued an executive order in July that prohibits schools from mandating facemasks.
- Florida currently leads the nation in hospitalized children with COVID-19.
A group of 815 Florida physicians signed an open letter calling for Gov. Ron DeSantis to repeal his order preventing mask mandates at schools.
DeSantis issued an executive order in July to “protect parents’ freedom to choose whether their children wear masks.” The order notes that children are at “low risk of contracting a serious illness due to COVID-19.”
The open letter was published through the “Committee to Protect Health Care” and was signed by physicians of a bevy of specialties including pediatrics physicians, cardiologists, infectious disease specialists, and more.
According to the doctors, there are approximately 120,000 children in the Tampa Bay area alone that are too young to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. As less than half of eligible Floridians have taken a vaccine, the physicians fear that children at school may unknowingly spread the virus if unmasked.
“Shots in arms are only part of an effective safety strategy,” the open letter says. “For children ineligible for a vaccine, the only protection they have against COVID-19 is for them to wear a mask, and for those around them to do the same. As physicians, we agree with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation that all schools have students, staff and teachers wear masks, which scientific evidence shows reduces COVID-19 spread.”
Florida currently leads the entire country in children hospitalized with COVID-19 and reported 24,753 new overall cases on Wednesday, a record high in the state since the start of the pandemic as the Delta variant of the virus continues to infect, especially the unvaccinated, at breakneck speeds.
The governor continues to squabble with President Joe Biden after Biden sent the state 200 ventilators. According to the Miami Herald, the state requested additional ventilators to replenish its emergency stockpile.
Biden expressed in a speech on Thursday that he supports anyone standing up to the group of governors forbidding mask mandates.
As state and federal officials feud over shipping logistics, the Florida physicians say they’ve reached a breaking point with the governor of Florida’s leadership.
The physicians’ letter closes with: “Enough is enough. Florida needs to mask up, get vaccinated, and have a governor willing to lead.”