DeSantis Blasts Mask Mandates: ‘Piece of Cloth Is Not Going to Stop the Aerosols’

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) dismissed the need for mask mandates in the Sunshine State on Wednesday, emphasizing the importance of personal liberty while reminding reporters of scientific research showing cloth and surgical masks are relatively ineffective in blocking the transmission of exhaled aerosols.

During a press conference in The Villages on Wednesday during which the governor announced the opening of another monoclonal antibody treatment center, a reporter asked DeSantis to explain his position on the role masks play in addressing the pandemic.

“They should not be mandated. No government entity should force you to do that. That is your choice. If that’s something you believe provides you protection, no one is going to say anything to you. But that should not, absolutely not be mandated,” DeSantis said, adding that such mandates “obviously” cannot occur in the state of Florida under his leadership and that it is his view that masking should remain a personal choice. . .

“I will say that from a scientific perspective, you have, even some of these experts now are acknowledging, with an aerosolized virus, a piece of cloth is not going to stop the aerosols,” DeSantis said:

When they started doing the masks last year, the thought was it was respiratory droplets, and so the respiratory droplets, maybe you could intercept some. When you’re starting to talk about aerosol transmission — something that’s very highly contagious — just understand. An N95, a medical mask, you know, that will intercept some of the aerosols. But just a piece of cloth is not going to do that. Osterholm, one of Biden’s advisers, has acknowledged that. You got other people who are acknowledging that.

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