Gov. Ron DeSantis blasted businesses Tuesday that require staff to wear masks while patrons roam mask-free, arguing the suggested rule disparity is symbolic of a “two-tiered society” wedged against the “servant class.”
“Let these folks breathe,” DeSantis said at a press conference in Oldsmar. “Let them make their own decisions on this because I think it’s terribly uncomfortable that they’re in this for so many hours a day and I don’t think it’s proven to make a difference.”
The argument of a “servant class” is a spin on one of DeSantis’ primary arguments against public health mandates. They, he often says, divide Americans. In September, the Republican Governor mounted a similar argument against COVID-19 vaccine passports and vowed to prevent a “biomedical security state” in Florida.
“I think it’s like a two-tiered society,” DeSantis said. “They’re trying to have a servant class that has to always do all this. But yet the other class, they can lecture you about wearing masks, but then they don’t wear masks themselves. That’s wrong.”
Indeed, COVID-19 rules for thee but not for me are well documented throughout the pandemic.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom dined indoors at an upscale Napa Valley restaurant alongside lobbyists despite banning indoor dinners at restaurants.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot got a haircut amid the state’s stay-at-home order. The order closed many businesses including hair salons, WGN reports.
“I’m the public face of this city,” she justified. “I’m on national media and I’m out in the public eye. I’m a person who takes their personal hygiene very seriously.”
Austin Mayor Steve Adler urged residents to “stay home” and “not relax” as he and others vacationed in Mexico. In a Facebook video, the Mayor threatened to shut down businesses “if we are not careful.”
With a crowd applauding the Republican Governor, DeSantis mocked venues with large maskless crowds that meanwhile order employees to wear masks. Employee mask mandates in such venues, he asserted, exist solely to satisfy a vocal minority.
He described the effort as more perforative than effective.
“They know that if they have the servers without it, they may get that one customer who’s so upset and will complain, and they don’t want to deal with that,” DeSantis said. “But I think it’s time we stopped letting that one person veto what’s right.”
DeSantis, who is widely considered a 2024 GOP presidential contender, is among the most outspoken critics of COVID-19 public health measures. The issue of COVID-19 mitigation, he asserts, is best decided by individuals.
He vowed Tuesday to buck mandates or school lockdown suggestions amid fears of the new omicron variant, calling such efforts “Fauciism.”
“I think it’s wrong to look down on somebody or to act like they should have to abide by different rules than me or you or anybody else,” DeSantis said.