Ron DeSantis, pictured earlier this month, says he won’t bring in any new Covid rules, and that he wants to give people individual responsibility to tackle the virus (Picture: Getty)
One of America’s most powerful politicians has refused to enact fresh lockdown measures after saying he wants to leave people alone to make responsible choices.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis – who has the final say on the Sunshine State’s coronavirus rules – said Monday that he will not be enacting any lockdown measures, edicts which require people to wear masks in public, or school closures.
DeSantis, one of President Trump’s staunchest allies, told a press conference: ‘No lockdowns, no fines, no school closures.’ He previously lifted all rules, including a 50% capacity limit in bars and restaurants, in September.
The Republican politician also snubbed calls to bring in a mask mandate requiring that face coverings are worn in public places. DeSantis explained: ‘I’m opposed to mandates, period…People wear them, they don’t have to be strung up by a bayonet to do it.’
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DeSantis said he would not enforce fresh Covid rules despite his state having the third-highest number of Covid cases in the US. Protesters are pictured holding a memorial service for Florida Covid victims at a mock graveyard in Miami on November 24 (Picture: Getty)
Speaking in the Florida state capital of Tallahassee, DeSantis also explained his decision to keep schools open, saying: ‘Schools are just a safe place for kids to be, with this particular pathogen.’
The governor went on to take a swipe at people who have called for schools to be closed to contain Covid, branding them ‘today’s flat earthers.’
DeSantis spoke despite Florida having the third-highest number of Covid diagnoses in the US, with close to 977,000 cases, and more than 18,000 deaths.
The governor faced criticism earlier this year after bragging that Florida had escaped a bad surge of Covid cases compared to New York, and highlighting that Florida was home to two million more people than the 19.45million living in the Empire State.
He spoke shortly before Florida saw its own huge surge in Covid cases. The Sunshine State now has 300,000 more cases than New York, although deaths are almost half the 34,000 Covid fatalities recorded in the north eastern state.
Most other US states have enacted strict measures, with large swathes of California currently banning all indoor and outdoor dining to try and stop Covid.
Other areas limit the number of diners allowed inside to as low as 25%, with some governors also banning bars from serving alcohol without food.
DeSantis lifted all capacity restrictions in September, although individual counties within Florida continue to impose their own capacity limits to try and limit the spread of Covid.
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