The Florida Department of Health is a politicized agency that follows the governor’s anti-mask philosophy, but new guidance proves that it knows the science behind masking works.
Yet, public health officials in America’s third-largest state who insist on disparaging masks are now telling residents to use disgusting methods to control the spread of covid. The governor’s office is silent about the state’s public health agency admitting it’s important to stop the airborne particles that spread deadly Covid-19 viruses.
Imagine my surprise when the tip arrived that they had quietly updated their website to recommend spreading mucus all over your arms instead of wearing a mask.
If one goes to the Florida Department of Health’s website today, there is a section on preventive measures one can take to reduce the spread of COVID-19. One section titled “cover coughs and sneezes” stood out to me. It reads:
“Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues into the trash. If tissues are unavailable, you can use your sleeve or the inside of your elbow. This is important because COVID-19 spreads when an infected person breathes out droplets and very small particles that contain the virus. These droplets and particles can be breathed in by other people or land on their eyes, noses, or mouth. By following good respiratory hygiene, you can protect people around you from viruses that cause diseases such as COVID-19, influenza (flu), and the common cold.”
Story continues below the tweet:
According to the state of Florida, sneezing into a tissue or your elbow helps mitigate COVID spread by reducing the spread of particles that contain the virus, but masks covering your whole mouth and nose don’t do that. Can Ron DeSantis clarify this idiotic distinction? pic.twitter.com/ZvUIq0ASva
— Thomas Kennedy (@tomaskenn) March 22, 2022
Earlier this month, Florida’s Surgeon General and crank conspiracy theorist Joseph Ladapo also went on a public rant against masks. In a press conference alongside DeSantis, Florida’s top “doctor” told attendees that masks “are not saving lives” and denounced other doctors and health organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that still advocate for masking in some settings as a way to stop the spread of COVID-19. This is coming from a doctor who needs to be told to wear a mask inside a hospital and even then he’s not very good at it, as the video in this exclusive story shows.
You might also recall Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ snarling excoriation in public of a group of high school students who dared to wear masks in his presence only three short weeks ago. At one of his numerous campaign-style press conferences paid for by taxpayers, when DeSantis saw kids students wearing masks lined up behind his podium. This did not make him happy.
“You do not have to wear those masks,” the Republican governor barked aggressively at the students. “Take them off,” he continued in an aggrieved, whiny tone. “Honestly, it’s not doing anything. We’ve got to stop with this Covid theater. So, if you want to wear it, fine. But this is ridiculous!” DeSantis concluded the exchange by turning to the podium and shaking his head like a jerk before ejecting out a loud sigh.
The anti-mask crusade by DeSantis has even earned the Florida Governor a rebuke from Politifact, “health authorities say that wearing a mask, even in a low-risk situation, can be effective at preventing transmission of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses. In high-risk areas, like where DeSantis was speaking, public health authorities strongly recommend wearing a mask… DeSantis’ statement is not accurate.”
“We rate it False.” – Politifact
Now if this sounds like an argument for the rationale behind mask-wearing during a global pandemic that’s spread airborne, you would be correct.
Unfortunately, the Florida Department of Health has become weaponized as a partisan agency under Ron DeSantis and they can’t actually admit that masks work.
The politicization of non-partisan agencies like the Florida Department of Health has gotten so bad that in December of last year, state-sponsored commercials promoting COVID-19 vaccinations were pulled from the airwaves with new ads that made no mention of the vaccine.
Direction for the new spots not mentioning vaccination came straight from Governor DeSantis himself.
This is Florida almost 73,000 COVID-19 related deaths later.
State agencies have to resort to Orwellian doublespeak or straight-up omission in order to mask the incoherence of the Ron DeSantis administration.
If you don’t want to wear a mask, that’s your choice, but don’t tell me they don’t work while at the same time claiming that particles or droplets breathed out by an infected person can spread the virus if breathed in by another person.
I reached out to Christina Pushaw, spokesperson for Ron DeSantis to comment on this story for Occupy Democrats.
She did not get back to us.
— Thomas Kennedy (@tomaskenn) March 22, 2022
Thomas Kennedy is an elected Democratic National Committee member representing Florida. He tweets from @tomaskenn.
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is a reported opinion columnist and roving correspondent. He's an elected member of the Democratic National Committee from Florida and a Director of Sunshine Agenda Inc. a government transparency nonprofit organization.