Even as Democratic-run states across the nation are lifting their mask requirements, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has spent the last 72 hours getting slammed by the Left, the media, and on social media for urging schoolchildren to ditch their face coverings because, “Honestly, it’s not doing anything.”
And now PolitiFact has once again butted into a conversation they weren’t invited to join, to say that DeSantis’s claim that masks are an ineffective display of “COVID theater” is, of course, “false.”
“You do not have to wear those masks,” DeSantis told a group of high school kids prior to the start of a press conference at the University of South Florida in Tampa. “I mean, please take them off. Honestly, it’s not doing anything. We’ve got to stop with this COVID theater. So, if you wanna wear it, fine, but this is ridiculous.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis admonished a group of students for wearing face masks at an indoor event Wednesday, saying it was time to stop what he called “this COVID theater.” The Republican governor has been a fierce opponent of mask and vaccine mandates. https://t.co/TA65UER4iw pic.twitter.com/TmMKgbHOVC
— The Associated Press (@AP) March 3, 2022
Reports that DeSantis, who has consistently voiced his opposition to mask mandates, behaved like a lunatic dictator — yelling at students, bullying them, and berating them, despite the fact that we can all plainly hear what he said and how he said it — predictably swamped the popular governor on social media.
Floridians should be mad…Ron DeSantis yelled at students just for wearing a mask!
Elect a Democrat Florida!
— Andrew (@TheRealAndrew_) March 2, 2022
On one hand, Ron DeSantis says we live in the "free" state of Florida.
On the other hand, DeSantis yells at high school students for wearing a mask at his press conference.
— Aaron Parnas (@AaronParnas) March 3, 2022
"I would tell (the governor) to stop bullying kids."
Kevin Brown says Gov. DeSantis had no right to tell his son and the other high school students to take off their masks.
— Justin Schecker (@WFLAJustin) March 3, 2022
But at last, we can all take a deep breath, because PolitiFact is on the job.
Citing numerous studies from the CDC, the fact-checking organization no one asked for has determined that DeSantis “mischaracterizes the efficacy of face masks.”
“In high-risk areas, like where DeSantis was speaking, public health authorities strongly recommend wearing a mask,” PolitiFact’s Yacob Reyes writes. “People who are immunocompromised can choose to wear masks at all times, depending on their particular circumstances. A recent study published by the CDC found that wearing face masks notably reduced the likelihood of testing positive for COVID.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told high school students that wearing masks is "COVID theater" and "not doing anything." We rated that statement False.
— Yacob Reyes (@yacob_reyes) March 4, 2022
What Reyes doesn’t mention is the number of times the CDC has deliberately spread false information about COVID-19 — a fact one would think would disqualify them as a fact-checking source.
At the very beginning of the pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci went on “60 Minutes” to assure us all that “there’s no reason to be walking around with a mask,” only to have the CDC do a 180 one month later with a recommendation that mask-wearing for the public was definitely a good thing. As we later discovered, the CDC was telling us a “noble lie” when they said masks weren’t necessary, in order to make sure health care workers wouldn’t run out of them.
And just last month, Americans discovered that the CDC had been withholding crucial data on the effectiveness of boosters, omitting information on 18 – 49-year-olds, out of concern their data would lead to “vaccine hesitancy.”
So in reality, there’s very little reason to expect anyone to trust anything the CDC has to say.
But that didn’t deter PolitiFact, though it has, if Twitter is any indication, succeeded in getting many to call the fact-checkers fibbers.
Below is just a sample of the pushback.
Why did you ignore data that shows your “fact check” is incorrect?
You are just a low end propagandist and liar, not a fact checker. https://t.co/QBXoSHzhek
— GWardHome (@gwardhome) March 5, 2022
Politifact specifically and media fact check in general has to be the most Orwellian invention of the 21st century
— Gregory Alan (@rightgreg61) March 5, 2022
— Christina Pushaw 🐊 🇺🇸 (@ChristinaPushaw) March 5, 2022
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