Jimmy Patronis: Gov. DeSantis throws another punch for freedom with K-12 mask EO

Happy fun man open hand arms take off face mask, put back. Covid 19 sick stop, lockdown end after ill. New normal safe life escape step, sun sky city fresh air breath joy, god love faith pray concept.
Science must always be a piece of policymaking. But science has to be filtered through a philosophy.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order to allow K-12 school parents in Florida to make their own decisions about whether their kids need to wear masks in school is absolutely brazen. It is also common sense.

It’s too bad that in the COVID-19 pandemic that common sense now takes a major act of bravery to say out loud — much less write law around.

No doubt, the Governor’s executive order will end up in court against school districts who want to reimpose mask mandates for students across the board — but let’s recognize the Governor’s act of heroism for looking out for our freedom.

First, I am vaccinated against COVID-19 myself and I encourage anyone in Florida to talk to their doctor about getting vaccinated if they have not done so already.

I believe vaccines work and I applaud the diligence of our medical and scientific community for coming together to produce this vaccine so quickly.

Only the history books will accurately reflect how many millions of lives were saved because of the quick turnaround of this product of American ingenuity.

The fact that COVID-19 vaccines work so well is an important part of DeSantis’ logic in protecting the ability of parents to decide if their kids need to wear masks in school.

We cannot pretend we are still in 2020. We are now in 2021. We have a vaccine now; and it works so well, the vast majority of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Florida are of the unvaccinated and a very small number of those cases, according to hospital leaders, are of children under the age of 18.

Let’s also examine the Governor’s consistency in philosophy compared to his critics.

He has been consistent in providing information, but not mandates. He did not mandate wearing masks. He did not mandate lockdowns or closures. He did not mandate we all get vaccinated.

He has been consistent in providing us access to information and then letting us make the best decisions to keep our families safe.

But his critics and liberal Democrats are raging.

They are yelling that we need to “follow the science” but the science has told us to: not wear masks (2020), wear masks (2020), not wear masks if we are vaccinated (2021), wear masks even if we are vaccinated (2021).

Let’s recognize that the “science” has not been consistent. That is why “science” can’t become policy (IE mandates) on its own.

Science must always be a piece of policymaking. But science has to be filtered through a philosophy.

Thankfully, DeSantis’ philosophy is that Americans are smart; that we care about our families, and we will make good decisions with the information we are given.

Last, but not least, the Governor is right when he says the evidence around K-12 school kids wearing masks has not been proven to be significantly safer than K-12 school kids with no masks.

I have two wonderful boys in K-12 school myself. They have been in school all through the pandemic. I can tell you from experience that K-12 kids aren’t dawning their masks with any kind of precision. More often than not, their masks get pulled down, chewed on, or torn up. (And I won’t even go into how dirty they get after multiple days of use.)

In the boxing ring of COVID-19 politics, our very own Florida prizefighter Gov. Ron DeSantis has won yet another round.

I am proud that he keeps getting into the ring every day, taking the hits, and defending the liberties of Florida families like mine.


Jimmy Patronis is Florida’s Chief Financial Officer.

Guest Author


  • Ocean Joe

    August 2, 2021 at 11:38 am

    “Let’s recognize that the “science” has not been consistent. That is why “science” can’t become policy (IE mandates) on its own.”

    Covid has not been consistent either. We are now dealing with VARIANTS and that is why our tactics to control covid must be flexible and change as covid changes. It is described as being far more contagious than it’s prior forms. Ridiculing the science or forcing it to take a backseat to your political philosophy belongs in the dark ages. I understand you may not believe in evolution, but this thing has evolved.

  • tjb

    August 2, 2021 at 12:44 pm

    The issue is that the virus has not been “consistent”. Variants can and often change the rules or methods of prevention, I still want to know why DeSantis used the Brown University Study to justify that masks are really not needed in schools. The Brown University Study is under peer review and it doesn’t consider the variants that we are now seeing. Is DeSantis using flawed information to justify his policies for political reasons?

    • JS

      August 2, 2021 at 3:22 pm

      The CDC just flip flopped on masking policy for vaccinated people based on early release observational data from “parties and social gatherings” over the summer in Provincetown that is not peer reviewed. Even if it is peer reviewed, it’s uncontrolled for any variables, rendering it virtually worthless in terms of quality data. The scientific method and objective truth have been completely destroyed and replaced by conjecture, speculation, political innuendo and irrational fear. Empirically it’s crystal clear that masks haven’t worked worldwide, and young and healthy kids are not vectors of spread or at major risk. The hubris that underpins the public health officials is quite extraordinary. We are not going to stop a virus by human behavior (lockdowns or NPIs) without the possibility of even worse consequences lasting drastically longer, perhaps decades or more.

      • Tjb

        August 2, 2021 at 4:11 pm

        What !!! JS are you making up BS or are you getting your information from a publication such as the National Inquirer. We all know that big foot wears a mask is what read in The Onion, a respectable source of news.

  • Alan B.

    August 2, 2021 at 2:14 pm

    Mr. Patronis fails to understand good public policy making. The Governor’s executive order allows people who want to be maskless their “freedom” at the risk of every other human on this planet’s health. He does this not based on any well thought out philosophical premise, but simply to appeal and appease a similarly misinformed group of people. In public policy, Mask vs. maskless has only one sensible answer: masks until data says otherwise and the pandemic is well contained. There is absolutely no significant detriment to requiring masks and their effectiveness has been shown. There are, however, very serious consequences, which we are currently witnessing now, to relaxing mask use. As in all public policy, masks by themselves are not 100%, effective, nor the complete answer to a worldwide pandemic, but good public policy demands mitigating risks and creating the best benefit for the most amount of people. Florida suffers because our top leader refuses to take serious a deadly disease. All Floridians deserve better, and all Floridians, Americans, should happily volunteer to wear masks for the good of their fellow countrymen, if not for the good of all humanity.

    • md

      August 2, 2021 at 3:51 pm

      +1, this site is some new level stupidity – glad to see someone calling BS on it. Desantis is a leader in some weird #Deathcult unbounded by common sense or science.

  • JS

    August 2, 2021 at 3:30 pm

    This is completely insane, and the worst slippery slope argument of possibly all time. We are supposed to implement public policy and take an action (Masks or any other NPI) that hasn’t been proven to work or studied with any rigor to understand the physical, emotional, social, and mental side effects particularly in children – until it’s proven NOT to work? This is the scientific method in reverse, and not only completely ridiculous, it’s dangerous. Should we allow drugs on the market, and ONLY THEN test them for safety and efficacy in the worldwide population? That’s completely backwards and frankly idiotic.

    The data worldwide is crystal clear. Empirically, masks and other NPIs have not worked. There is no measurable delta between mortality and morbidity in harsh lockdown/NPI States versus those that decided not to implement harsh lockdowns or NPIs.

    Claiming that shooting first and asking questions later is sound public health policy is a dangerous path not only towards unintended consequences, it’s a perfect trojan horse for tyranny.

    • MD

      August 2, 2021 at 3:57 pm

      Uhm, you do know the vaccines have all been tested pretty widely before use and that we have actual data about the effectiveness of masks: (a review of literature to save you time: https://www.pnas.org/content/118/4/e2014564118) – their efficacy is tied to widespread use.

  • JS

    August 2, 2021 at 4:07 pm

    Do you know the difference between a good randomized and controlled trial and absolutely garbage data like the Howard study you just sent? It’s laughable. Read it. It ignores every single RCT in IFI’s ever done.

    • Tjb

      August 2, 2021 at 4:15 pm

      Clearly you don’t understand scientific research. Just wondering if you got your degree from Trump University

  • JS

    August 2, 2021 at 4:33 pm

    Where on the spectrum of quality of evidence does a “narrative review” fall? Is that right above modeling studies and right below mechanistic or case studies? If you don’t know how low quality this study is in these terms, then you suffer from a gigantic Dunning-Kruger Effect. I have worked in Biotechnology primarily in monoclonal antibodies and antibody drug conjugates for over 25 years and have not only read countless thousands of papers in drug development, I’ve actually helped design RCTs. But thanks for sharing your ignorance, and not knowing what you don’t know. Flashing this paper which specifically states at the beginning that droplets and not aerosols are the primary driver of spread is all you need to know.

  • JS

    August 2, 2021 at 4:41 pm

    Was it the story of Wu Lien Teh during the 1910 Manchurian plague that really got you hooked on the quality of this non-evidenced based thriller? The utter ignorance of people and lack of ability to know what they don’t know is only surpassed by the horrific quality of papers being printed in scientific journals and then pawned off as a gold standard double blinded placebo controlled outcomes trial. I bet you love the CDC MMWR mannequin study on double masks. That was a real gem.

    • Tjb

      August 2, 2021 at 5:19 pm

      So you are ok with DeSantis using the Brown University Study to justify why mask are not needed even if was not peer reviewed and doesn’t consider the new variant.

  • JS

    August 2, 2021 at 5:53 pm

    He mentioned the Brown Study in the Executive Order, but I that’s hardly the lodestar and singular focus for his reasoning of no masks in school. Kids have gone maskless in numerous districts across FL and the USA. Private, public, charter schools all have similar if not identical results regardless of whether they are masked or not. We should consider ourselves lucky and be happy about it unlike the 1918 influenza pandemic where the median age of death was 30, and not cause an issue where there isn’t one at the expense of mental, developmental, and psychosocial development of children.

    Numerous countries never mandated kids mask in school at all with no negative consequences. Sweden for example had exactly ZERO child deaths, and never shut school for 16 and under. It would be constant worldwide news 24/7 if that was not the case. This is a textbook example of human hubris and the logical fallacy of action bias. The need to do something to feel in control.

    The new variant looks to be significantly more contagious anecdotally, with an enormous decoupling of severe outcomes and mortality. Again, good news. Even the Biden Whitehouse, as detached from reality as they are, are screaming at the ridiculous news coverage full of panic and doom. But that was their own making. They made the bed of fear, now they have to deal with the monster media coverage that they loved so much during the orange menace Trump years. There is absolutely no prevailing evidence that the current variant is any more dangerous to children (or adults) than the others besides the constant fear mongering media reports and Chinese bots on facebook and twitter continually posting or amplifying fake stories of dead bodies everywhere. The UK and India data is very clear that “cases” have totally decoupled from mortality outcomes because of vaccines, therapeutics, doctor knowledge, and awareness. The damage to kids has been substantial already in so many ways that, it’s time for cooler heads to prevail and rational objective thought to rule the day instead of continual fear mongering and panic.

  • tjb

    August 3, 2021 at 9:17 am

    JS are you giving me data before the new variant in the US. You really can’t look at school children because the school years have not yet started.

  • JS

    August 3, 2021 at 9:24 am


    Read this and Google “influenza closes schools” and pick a year. Outbreaks and school closures happen briefly almost every single
    Year along with hospital capacity being stretched.

    We don’t panic and base policy out of fear and what might happen. As of now, there is absolutely no reason to think the delta theta mu gamma or any other Greek named variant has poses any more danger to kids than the original.

  • Tjb

    August 3, 2021 at 2:12 pm

    Yes, we base many policy on fear. Look at the new voting law in Florida for example. The supporters of this bill, sold it as a solution for preventing potential voting fraud even after our governor stated that our last election had no issues in Florida. I am glad that you have the crystal ball to predict the future of a variant. I should nominate you for the Nobel Prize, but I don’t have your name, Until then, can you help to stop Ebola?

  • JS

    August 3, 2021 at 2:24 pm

    Panic, deflections, red herrings, straw man arguments, and insults. You’ll make a perfect commie. Now run along and cower in the corner with your double mask and face shield and call the cops on your neighbors. Loser.

    • Tjb

      August 3, 2021 at 3:58 pm

      You are a pompous ass JS. I am a contented and success man, financially secure, great family, friends and health. Fought for American values before the advent of trumpism. My family has a long history fighting communism back to the days of Charles Bonaparte and family members that had high level Republican Presidential appointment positions . JS you only live in your mind as a American Patriot. You are a pathetic joke looking to destroy democracy.Take care JS nd f##k off.

      • JS

        August 3, 2021 at 4:21 pm


        There is zero chance anyone that claims to be a Republican would support tyranny in the form of totalitarianism masked as public health.

        Now go back to your little panic room and cower in fear like the little bitch you are.

        I’m sure your family full of commie fighters is looking down in absolute disgust at your pathetic weakness while you support giving up civil liberties based on fear and conjecture of a virus with a IFR of less than 0.02 and a median age of death above the average of all deaths in the USA.

        Now buzz off you pussy.



        • Tjb

          August 3, 2021 at 4:23 pm

          You are sooo clueless. Love you JS

  • JS

    August 3, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    And you and your evil public health tyrannical dictator comrades will never win. The people won’t soon forget this.

    I despise everything you stand for.

    Now go play in traffic you pathetic pile of human excrement.



Comments are closed.


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