Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, became a trending topic on Twitter for a while on Thursday afternoon after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis compared the U.S. mission that killed him to reopening schools.
The governor made the remarks during a press conference on reopening schools Wednesday night. Florida, like multiple other states, is wrestling with how, or even if, to put children back into school while the coronavirus pandemic rages. As The Daily Beast reported, DeSantis has been bullish on putting the children back into their school buildings and had reportedly even pressured officials in counties with spiking coronavirus infection rates to do in-person learning rather than distance instruction.
During his presser, a transcript of which can be read here, DeSantis brought up the May 2, 2011, military operation during which Navy SEALs raided the compound where the terrorist had been living and shot him dead.
“Martin County Superintendent Laurie Gaylord told me she viewed re-opening her schools as a mission akin to a Navy SEAL operation. Just as the SEALs surmounted obstacles to bring Osama bin Laden to justice, so too would the Martin County School system find a way to provide parents with a meaningful choice of in-person instruction or continued distance learning,” he said.
He went on to claim that parents in Florida are keen to see their children put back into school and that the children are excited, too. He claimed that one county superintendent had told him that he (the superintendent) had never seen anything like this in his career.
“Parents – not only bringing their kids to school – but also bringing presents and supplies for the teachers – as a way to say thank you,” he said.
Over on Twitter, his comparison between opening schools and the killing of an international criminal did not go over particularly well.
One user, for example, found the comparison between a military operation and public education a bit odd.
“Raise your hand if your kindergarteners aren’t in the military,” they tweeted.
Others noticed the juxtaposition of someone being killed with children being sent back to school.
“So he’s using death metaphors to describe the opening of Florida schools? Run this idiot out of our state,” the user wrote.
“This analogy makes perfect sense if you are comparing all the kids to Osama bin Laden,” wrote another.
Outside of Florida, the matter of children being sent back to school while the coronavirus pandemic rages has not gone over well. For example, in Georgia, as previously reported by The Inquisitr, a school district has told at least 800 students to go into quarantine for two weeks following possibly being exposed to the pathogen at school.