‘National disgrace’: Ron DeSantis slams school closures, ‘special interests’
Image via AP.

Ron DeSantis AP photo
'Special interests' and 'hysteria' are to blame.

Florida’s Governor was an early and enthusiastic advocate of reopening schools during the pandemic when many other states shied away.

In Venice Wednesday at a press conference, Ron DeSantis mocked people in other states who haven’t been able to figure out how to reopen their physical facilities as Florida controversially did months ago, saying that the failure to reopen physical schools is a “national disgrace.”

“The fact that you’re going to have schools that are going to be closed for this entire school year and probably even into the fall is a national disgrace,” DeSantis said, offering unsolicited editorial comments as part of longer remarks on the coronavirus and vaccinations.

“I watch what is going on in our country and it’s like ‘oh, well, after 100 days we will have — maybe — half the kids can go to school for one day’ and I’m like ‘we’ve been open the whole time for schools,” the Governor said.

“We’ve been open since August. In person. Every parent has a right to send their kid in person. The vast majority exercise that right. And the ones that didn’t, who did virtual, many of them immediately tried to get their kids in in-person,” DeSantis added.

“We followed the evidence and the data. We didn’t follow special interests. We didn’t follow hysteria. We did what was right by students and families. And we’re much better for that,” DeSantis said.

The Governor was triumphant, contending “Florida led on education.”

“We were there for our parents. We were there for our students. And we’re going to continue to do that and we are not turning back,” DeSantis said, before pausing to move on.

As other states wrestle with when and how to move students back into schools, DeSantis has long since moved on, a stance that he clearly bets will be refreshing to people working and living in more restrictive environments. As he mulls a political future on the national stage, expect more compare-and-contrast declarations of success along these lines.

In July, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran issued an emergency order requiring schools to reopen in August for in-person classes. Though the order was met with pushback from teacher unions, their court challenge ultimately failed.

In the months since, evidence has shown that in-person learning is safe so long as transmission rates are low and students, faculty and staff wear masks and are vigilant with sanitization.

President Joe Biden, a Democrat, also supports school reopenings. He has pledged to reopen a majority of elementary and middle schools by the end of his first 100 days in office, though his plan is less ambitious than the DeSantis administration’s — the White House goal is for more than 50% of those schools to be open for in-person instruction “at least one day a week.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at [email protected]


5 comments

  • Frankie M.

    February 10, 2021 at 12:21 pm

    “We were there for our parents. We were there for our students.”

    I noticed he intentionally omitted one key member of the PTSA.

    Where are the vaccines for the teachers? Parents, students, and Ronnie want schools open but he’s not willing to give teachers what they need the most. Everybody wants to reap the rewards and take the credit but nobody wants to bear the costs.

    On a side note: My wife and I are both teachers in our early 40’s with young children of our own. We both secured the vaccine although through different means. I went through the VA in Gainesville which was offering it to veterans under VA care (even those under 65) as long as they are considered an essential worker…including TEACHERS. My wife got hers via Shands after seeing a specialist a few weeks ago for a pre-existing condition. It was pure luck and the only reason she received an email from UF Health securing her an appointment for the shot. Why couldn’t Ronnie open do what the VA has done & open it up to teachers like 25 other states have done? Couldn’t have anything to do with voting bases, could it? Seniors vs. teachers’ unions. No it’s all data driven my arse.

  • Sonja Fitch

    February 10, 2021 at 2:10 pm

    Dear god forgive this fool! Duffus Desantis has willingly slaughtered Floridians in obscene actions to please cult president Trump!

  • James Robert Miles

    February 10, 2021 at 5:53 pm

    The National Disgrace is really all about fat Ronnie who is beginning to look more like his good buddy and master Donnie without the makeup and hair dye! DeSatan’S lack of concern for the citizens of Florida has caused more deaths than otherwise would have happened. DeSatan’s sole concern is that the economy continue without regard for the effect it would have on the health of Florida’s citizens. As usual with the GOP the only thing that matters is money, to hell with everything else!

  • Yep

    February 11, 2021 at 9:33 am

    Notice it says in-person learning is safe IF STUDENTS, TEACHERS, AND STAFF WEAR MASKS.

    Here in Floriduh, many school districts are not following CDC guidelines and masking up.

    COVID spread here worse than in many other areas and people died

    Great Job???

  • Bruce

    February 12, 2021 at 9:12 am

    Here’s a man that see’s the truth for what it is and is not influenced by all of the fear and corrupt politics. Thank God that there are still people like Desantis that are not corrupt and trying to destroy this country through lies and fear. Shame on those in the government and especially in the media for their part in trying to bring down this great country of ours.

Comments are closed.


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