USA TODAY NETWORK – FLORIDA – A day after his state surgeon general was confirmed along party lines by the Florida Senate, Gov. Ron De Santis Thursday announced a new statewide, non-compulsory COVID policy that he claims “bucks CDC policy.”
And the next day, the feds came around to his approach, announcing guideline changes that allow most Americans to unmask indoors.
The news release and tweet proclaiming the new guidelines seemed to coincide with his barnstorming speech at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) convention.
Florida had “defeated Fauci-ism,” he said — a jab at Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to President Joseph Biden.
The main thrust is that masks will no longer be required in community settings. For several weeks, DeSantis has been saying that cloth masks are not effective against the COVID-19 virus.
“People want to live freely in Florida without corporate masking creating a two-tier society, overbearing isolation for their children, and their health care practitioners having the freedom to follow science, not outdated and politicized guidance,” he tweeted.
On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced their changes, which health experts say may be the first step in shifting the U.S. to an “endemic phase” of the pandemic.
Under the old guidelines, masks were recommended for people living in communities of substantial or high transmission, which applied to roughly 95% of U.S. counties.
Now, in addition to caseloads, the guidance also will consider hospitalizations, current beds occupied by COVID patients and hospital capacity … read more.