On the Laura Ingraham show last night, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that he will pardon all Floridians who have been charged with failing to wear masks or socially distance in compliance with COVID-related protocols imposed by counties. The immediate context was a criminal prosecution against a couple who own a Florida gym, and who refused to force customers to wear masks. They were facing jail terms of 120 days. The couple, Mike and Jillian Carnevale, were on the program with DeSantis.
The Republican governor made the unexpected announcement on Fox News Wednesday as he decried county officials penalizing people.
“It’s a total overreach,” he told Laura Ingraham. “These things with health should be advisory, they should not be punitive.”
DeSantis said potential jail time was particularly absurd in the Carnevales’ case.
“The fact is, it’s not even right to be wearing masks when you’re exercising,” the governor said. “The World Health Organization advises against it! It’s not healthy to be doing that in the first place, so it was a bad restriction,” he said.
He is right about that. Also, people should be free to choose. They can see whether others are wearing masks in a gym, or a restaurant, or wherever. If they want to frequent a gym, a restaurant or a bar that requires customers to wear masks, fine. That is their choice. But the idea that all of us should be forced to make the same choice, especially now that most of the population has been vaccinated, is not just ridiculous but tyrannical.