Ron DeSantis fundraises off his scolding of masked high schoolers
Ron DeSantis gets a legal smackdown over Florida's 2021 voting reform bill. Image via AP.

DeSantis at USF
'The leftist propagandists in our media had a meltdown and called me a "bully."'

Gov. Ron DeSantis is yet again attemptin to parlay COVID-19 controversy into campaign cash.

The Governor’s re-election campaign sent an essay to donors on the topic of “speaking the truth” about so-called “COVID theater.”

The fundraising appeal doubled as both a defense of DeSantis’ decision to scold high school students who were wearing masks at a press conference of his Wednesday, and an opportunity to juxtapose that controversy with some “whataboutism” toward leading Democrats.

“While in Tampa, I told a group of students masks were ridiculous, and they didn’t have to wear them if they didn’t want to. Predictably, the leftist propagandists in our media had a meltdown and called me a “bully” for allowing children to breathe fresh air,” the Governor groused.

DeSantis juxtaposed the situation in Tampa with the mask-free scene at Tuesday’s State of the Union address, before issuing a callback to when a Georgia Democrat was photographed with students.

“Where was the media meltdown when failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams recently took a maskless photo in front of students who were forced to wear masks?”

The Governor’s messaging appeared in the wake of reports from WFLA and other sources that went viral in the hours after he attempted to get students to shed their masks.

“You do not have to wear those masks,” Gov. DeSantis said. “I mean, please take them off. Honestly, it’s not doing anything and we’ve gotta stop with this COVID theater. So if you want to wear it, fine, but this is ridiculous.”

Asked about the mask back and forth, a spokesperson for the Governor didn’t back down.

“As the Governor said, ‘you can wear them if you want’ but there’s ‘no evidence’ masks make any difference,” said press secretary Christina Pushaw to WFLA. She also argued DeSantis wasn’t admonishing the kids, but rather, he “was admonishing those who promoted and coerced / forced masking as a way to end the pandemic. It’s theater.”

DeSantis’ campaign has already packaged the video.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Frankie M.

    March 3, 2022 at 1:21 pm

    “Where was the media meltdown when failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams recently took a maskless photo in front of students who were forced to wear masks?”

    I must’ve missed the part where Stacey Abrams berated students for not wearing masks. I thought Ronnie was in favor of individual choice…hmmm

    • Tjb

      March 3, 2022 at 1:29 pm

      Individual choice … except for pro-choice and ….

  • Oscar

    March 3, 2022 at 4:22 pm

    It was his attitude and hsi scolding of high school students that really got to me.
    High school kids aren’t ready to be scolded by people in high office.
    At, 63, I wouldn’t have given a second thought to telling him that he was disrespectful and rude, and I would have walked off.
    But don’t scold kids, you big baby. If you don’t think masks are needed, find other ways to tell the world that.

  • Frankie M.

    March 3, 2022 at 5:13 pm

    Can’t wait for the next tongue lashing err I mean press conference at Jax Classical Academy. Of course Ronnie doesn’t have to worry about those mouthbreathers ruining his backdrop there. At that school the kids would probably hand him switches they cut themselves and say “thank you sir may I have another.”

  • tom palmer

    March 3, 2022 at 11:41 pm

    He doesn’t have very good media advice anyway, so his gratuitous stumbles are not hard to understand. It doesn’t help that he’s a jerk.

  • Harold Finch

    March 4, 2022 at 8:18 am

    I was astonished by his behaior and the look of the students as he was berating them. What a terrible example of a Governor and a sad continuation of his bullying. I really do not understand it.

    • michael j coury

      March 4, 2022 at 9:23 am

      Of course he’s a bully. It’s all about white privilege and power. He’s not concerned about breathing fresh air. He’s concerned about “looking good” just like the orange peacock.

  • Alan V

    March 4, 2022 at 8:48 am

    He seems to have an issue with masks on kids, but not hoods on white nationalists or guns in the hands of crazy people. It’s all about CONTROL- just like this ridiculous abortion bill. He’s a bully and a coward like his Orange Fuhrer.

  • Tjb

    March 4, 2022 at 2:00 pm

    Covid theater?
    Hey Ron, how about the 70,000 plus Floridians that have died from Covid. Were they acting? Your poor leadership and pitiful actions regarding Covid have cause more deaths then necessary. You state that you are pro-life for the unborn, but what about the lives of those outside the womb. Should your administration be call the “theater of death”?

    • Tom

      March 4, 2022 at 8:31 pm

      Yeah tjb you Manchurian ass, what about the million plus perished from Covid under Biden and Fauci? Really?
      Of course you Manchurians never mention the Covid deaths under your guys.

      News flash to you and all Manchurians. DeSantis saved Florida and all of you as well. He is the best!
      America’s Gov. takes no crap from the fake news and the minions.

      Tjb you are a long time DeSantis antagonist hater. You have failed.

      DeSsntis, Rubio win, 3 new House seat flips?

      • Tjb

        March 5, 2022 at 11:05 am

        Talking about your cult leader … not Biden or Fauci. Please stay on subject and stop drinking the kool aid comrade.

        • Tom

          March 5, 2022 at 11:31 am

          Kiss ass, you don’t get to dictate lies and topics pal. The masks and Covid is yesteryear. They didn’t wear masks on House floor. LMAO, the Manchurians hanging on to resistance. Spare us your fake outrage. Cult leader? Obama, Clinton’s? That’s cult pal.

          DeSantis is America’s Governor. Regardless of what you and your 5% think or say. He’s pulling 24% Dems support you losers!

          Your incompetent Joe & Fauci have over a million dead. Shove it up your pie, you pathetic Dums love to dish it out but can’t take it. All of you are whiners, babies. None of you minded when blue state Govs were tyrannical.
          Spare us. DeSantis the best!

          • Tjb

            March 5, 2022 at 12:44 pm

            Russian troll that name calls like a second grader. Comrade Tom, the good lord command us not to worship false gods, DeSantis is a false god. Also, how much is Christina Pushaw paying you to troll?

          • Tom

            March 5, 2022 at 9:52 pm

            No trolling just fact Tjb.
            You can’t deal with a laser beam.
            America’s Governor is challenging, and changing America.

            No one is paying me, that’s really offensive. You corrupt Dems are so off your rockers that if someone challenges the Manchurian hymnal you freak out.

            You all are corrupt in mind and spirit

  • Beth

    March 4, 2022 at 4:33 pm

    The governor of a state running around accosting children, could he sink any lower? He didn’t know if any of those students were ill or protecting someone at home. Thought he was all about parent rights? No brains, no class, just a disgusting creep desperate for money and power. He is an embarrassment to this state and our nation and has no business anywhere near our children. Time for ronnie to seek another line of work.

Comments are closed.


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