Mounting evidence has shown masks have had little, if any, impact on COVID-19’s spread. In what seems to be a turning tide, Florida has went ahead and defunded schools that forced masking despite ban and is additionally seeking compensation for hurt students.
Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis advocated cutting $200 million in education funds from a dozen counties that disobeyed the state’s prohibition on mask mandates in schools, saying that parents should be compensated for the damages such requirements do to kids.
The House granted preliminary permission to the penalty as part of a $105.3 billion state budget for the upcoming year, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. The counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Leon, Alachua, and Volusia would be affected.
In particular, Republican state Rep. Randy Fine’s proposal reduces funding in the designated jurisdictions that pay the wages of administrators earning more than $100,000 per year. These education funds would then be transferred to the remaining counties in Florida.
“Most students didn’t want to wear masks in the first place!” DeSantis said. “Let’s also give parents recourse for harms imposed on their kids due to this defiance. They should get compensated for academic, social, and emotional problems caused by these policies.”
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Available proof implies that masks have had little, if there were any, impact on COVID-19’s spread all across United States, like the US Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) September 2020 admission that masks cannot be relied on to hold COVID out when investing 15 minutes or longer within six feet of anyone, or a May 2020 study published in CDC’s peer-reviewed publication Emerging Infectious Diseases that “did not find evidence that surgical-type face masks are effective in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza transmission, either when worn by infected persons (source control) or by persons in the general community to reduce their susceptibility.”
Another study published in May indicated that, while mandatory mask use rose, the effects were not as assumed: “mask mandates and use (were) not associated with lower SARS-CoV-2 spread among U.S. states” from March 2020 to March 2021. In fact, the scientists found that wearing masks caused “dehydration … headaches and sweating and decreas[ing] cognitive precision,” as well as messing with speech and compromising social development in youngsters.
“The potential educational harms of mandatory-masking policies are much more firmly established, at least at this point, than their possible benefits in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in schools,” University of California-San Francisco epidemiologist professor Vinay Prasad wrote in September. “Early childhood is a crucial period when humans develop cultural, language, and social skills, including the ability to detect emotion on other people’s faces. Social interactions with friends, parents, and caregivers are integral to fostering children’s growth and well-being.”
Just seven states (including the District of Columbia and a few US territories) have statewide mask laws in place. Many left-wing individuals have argued that the move was warranted by advancing scientific knowledge, but sceptics believe the underlying determining element was internal polling, such as that undertaken by New Jersey Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy’s team, which revealed that enforced masking is extremely controversial.
DeSantis has vigorously pursued a litany of conservative priorities since assuming office in 2019, along with religious freedom, conscience rights, and the objective truth of biological sex, with a special emphasis on countering COVID-related lockdowns and regulations, elevating his profile as a prospective 2024 presidential candidate in the eyes of conservatives. Many of his fans are watching with bated breath to see whether he will sign or reject a bill that would provide hospitals liability immunity for COVID treatment.