Ron DeSantis Says He Will Pardon Floridian's Who Violate Mask Laws

Ron DeSantis speaks at an event.
Gettyimages | Joe Raedle
US Politics

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is again taking a stand against mask mandates supported by Democrats.

As reported by The Hill, DeSantis issued an executive order on Thursday that revealed he would pardon Florida residents who violate mask mandates.

DeSantis, who is seen as a contender for the 2024 Republican Party presidential nomination, has been defiant against coronavirus restrictions throughout the duration of the pandemic.

The executive order provides a sixty-day reprieve to anyone who is convicted or facing charges for violating local Florida coronavirus restrictions.

DeSantis Announced The Order On Fox News

DeSantis revealed his executive order on Fox News' Ingraham Angle on Wednesday.

“These things with health should be advisory, they should not be punitive,” he said.

Also on the program were Mike and Jillian Carnevale, a couple that was allegedly arrested in Florida's Broward County for violating a mask mandate.

According to a spokesperson for the Broward County State’s Attorney, the couple was given the opportunity to dismiss the charges by undertaking a diversion program or spending 10 days in jail. However, they allegedly refused the proposal.

DeSantis Was Sympathetic To The Couple

Ron DeSantis speaks at an event.
Gettyimages | Joe Raedle

During his appearance on Fox News, DeSantis was sympathetic to the couple's situation and tied it to his executive order, Slate reported.

“I think they’ve been treated poorly,” he said.

"Fortunately, they got a governor that cares. When our clemency board meets in the coming weeks, we’ll issue pardons—not only for Mike and Jillian, but for any Floridian that may have outstanding infractions for things like masks and social distancing."

Last summer, the couple was allegedly arrested on three occasions over a two-week period for not adhering to mask requirements at a local gym.

The CDC Recently Shifted Its Mask Recommendations

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced that vaccinated Americans no longer need to socially distance or wear masks indoors or outdoors. However, the government agency listed special circumstances that conflict with the new recommendations.

As reported by CNN, Dr. Rochelle Walensky announced the new guidelines during a recent White House briefing.

"If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic," she said.

"We have all longed for this moment when we can get back to some sense of normalcy."

CDC Pointed To Studies On Vaccine Effectiveness

In support of its new mask approach, Walensky pointed to three studies that suggest vaccines are effective. 

Two of the studies were from the United States, and one was from Israel.

Notably, the Israel study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and found that the vaccine examined was 86 percent effective against asymptomatic coronavirus and 97 percent effective against symptomatic infection.

Although there have been reports of breakthrough infections that occur even in vaccinated individuals, infections are typically less severe.