Charlie Crist: Ron DeSantis is a ‘direct threat’ to health, safety

charlie crist
The Congressman's remarks came during a meeting with parents of students with disabilities.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist met with a group of parents Monday suing Gov. Ron DeSantis over an executive order banning mask mandates at Florida public schools.

Implemented in July, the order empowers the state to impose financial consequences against school districts that implement mask mandates as a means to discourage forced masking.

Crist, himself a former Republican Governor, chided DeSantis and the policy as a “direct threat” to health and safety.

“This is not about calling for lockdowns or closing down our economy,” Crist said during an online press conference. “It’s about taking small common-sense steps to protect our children and our families and prevent another lockdown from ever happening again.”

The lawsuit, filed in August, contends the order disproportionally threatens the safety of students with disabilities.

Attorney Matthew Dietz, the lead litigator for the group, more specifically alleges it violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“These laws ensure that these schools are obligated to provide an environment in which kids with disabilities can safely be educated in an integrated environment,” Dietz explained.

The federal lawsuit comes as the delta variant of COVID-19 proves itself more threatening to Florida’s youth.

According to the Florida Department of Health, 20,331 children under the age of 12 tested positive for COVID-19 Aug. 13-19.

The latest total marks a sizeable increase from the report prior. From Aug. 6 to Aug. 12, DOH reported 16,754 new COVID-19 cases among the same demographic.

Dr. Lisa Gwynn, associate professor of clinical pediatrics and public health sciences at the University of Miami, described masks as key to combating the spread of COVID-19.

“The science is very clear,” Gwynn said. “There is no other way to protect children that are in a classroom other than to have a mask, have been vaccinated if they are eligible and keep their social distance.”

Robyn McCarthy, a health care lawyer and a parent of a student with respiratory ailments, is among parents suing the DeSantis administration over the order.

She pleaded with the Governor to consider the impacts of COVID-19 on students with disabilities.

“We need action right now,” McCarthy said. “We need mitigation measures. I need virtual options on the table.”

Jamie Kindler, of Volusia County, is the mother of an immunocompromised 9-year-old girl.

Kindler said her daughter, who has undergone numerous surgeries in recent years, would like to return to her peers and in-person learning.

The risk, however, is too great.

“This is now beyond crazy,” Kindler added. “That we’re not following CDC guidelines. That we’re depriving kids by no fault of their own of a full, free, safe education.”

For his part, DeSantis maintains students remain free to wear masks if they choose.

The order, he asserts, provides parents the ability to choose.

DeSantis, in early August, described student mask mandates as a “big experiment” with possible health and developmental consequences on youth.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


  • Alex

    August 23, 2021 at 12:27 pm


    Our flaming far right Governor has no business leading a bowling team.

    • Impeach Biden

      August 23, 2021 at 12:41 pm

      Flaming? I think that is a good description of Charlie.

      • Alex

        August 23, 2021 at 12:54 pm

        Proven liar and homophobe.

        You keep burying yourself deeper.

        • Flaming Charlie

          August 23, 2021 at 1:17 pm

          Ah yes, Alex, the so called board moderator is allowed to make outrageous comments and statements about DeSantis. Yet if a person that might not support his wacko political views makes an outrageous statement or comment about his candidate then that person is called a liar and other things. Alex has plenty of “so called” factual websites created by progressives and progressive universities to back up his what he calls truths. Alex you and Sonja need to go out on a date.

          • Alex

            August 23, 2021 at 1:25 pm


            You proved you lied Sparky, not me.

            And I don’t argue with liars, it’s pointless.

          • Flaming Charlie

            August 23, 2021 at 1:33 pm

            Yes, you don’t speak to people that don’t share “YOUR” version of the truth. Got it.

          • Alex

            August 23, 2021 at 1:36 pm


          • Flaming Charlie

            August 23, 2021 at 1:41 pm

            I tire of you too Alex. Yawn.

        • Tom

          August 23, 2021 at 11:14 pm

          Alex, you are fundamentally corrupt liar. U sold out Socialist. So pathetic.
          DeSantis will stomp you and your Manchurians out.

  • Sonja Fitch

    August 23, 2021 at 12:45 pm

    Duffus Desantis is willingly slaughtering Floridians and our children! Good god almighty ! Prevention is one of the few actions that prevents spreading! Our children under 12 years of age are being criminally used for your political bs Duffus Desantis! Lock up this killer!

    • Liz

      August 23, 2021 at 12:52 pm

      Flippin’, floppin’, Fauci has been lying since day one. Once you believe all the lies, you will be one of them, just like those who think Biden is “the best President, ever”. Are they, too, so mentally incompetent to believe such tripe? What’s next…deliberately polluting the very air we breathe to make it “safe” for all those people who believe that re breathing expired CO2 and bacteria is healthy? We are not about to lower out standards of living to those who are afraid to live. Get over it.

      • Alex

        August 23, 2021 at 12:57 pm

        I told you to prove he lied before, and you haven’t.

        So who’s the liar here?

        • Tom

          August 23, 2021 at 11:07 pm

          Alex, you are the liar.

    • Janey

      August 23, 2021 at 12:53 pm

      You are absolutely correct Alex I agree very much keep speaking out

      • Zhombre

        August 23, 2021 at 6:21 pm

        That’s touching: Alex’s mom offering him encouragement.

  • Janey

    August 23, 2021 at 12:52 pm

    You are absolutely correct Alex I agree very much keep speaking out

    • Tom

      August 23, 2021 at 11:42 pm

      Alex the liar.

  • Ron Ogden

    August 23, 2021 at 12:58 pm

    Charlie Crist and, by extension, every Democrat and liberal, including the ones who appear on, sponsor and publish this blog, are direct and immediate threats to personal responsibility and individual liberty, which are the bases of free, democratic institutions, especially the United States of America. Give Crist a beard, a turban and an AK-47 and you’re spot on.

  • Poppy

    August 23, 2021 at 2:45 pm

    Since I started with my online business,JHQ I earn $25 every 15 minutes. It sounds unbelievable but you won’t forgive yourself if you don’t check it out.
    Learn more about it here…

  • Donna Grumblis

    August 25, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    Can the Governor provide the research that supports mask being more detrimental to a child health than the spread of Covid that could leave the child an orphan or dead? There is research that shows mask prevent both the person wearing the mask and the people around. His BS in law won’t save our children or adults!

Comments are closed.


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