Ron DeSantis: Extended Mask Mandate ‘Is the Biden Equivalent of Continuing the Beatings Until Morale Improves’

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a COVID-19 testing site, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, outs
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

The extension of the federal mask mandate for public transportation is based on “more COVID theater” and is “the Biden equivalent of continuing the beatings until morale improves,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said in a sharp statement on Wednesday.

“Biden’s extension of the transportation mask mandate simply prolongs the misery that passengers and flight attendants are being forced to endure,” the governor said in a statement following the news of federal officials extending the mask requirement for public transportation yet again.

“This is not evidence-based, but simply more COVID theater,” he continued. “This is the Biden equivalent of continuing the beatings until morale improves. I’m glad Florida and other states are fighting this mandate in court.”

The sharp statement followed news of the Biden administration extending the mask mandate, forcing individuals to continue to mask up while on planes, trains, buses, and other modes of public transportation. The mandate was set to expire April 18, but officials opted to extend it two more weeks, with no immediate end in sight, as they have continued to extend the deadlines throughout the entirety of Biden’s presidency. This is despite the fact that Biden, prior to taking office, pitched “just” 100 days of masking, deeming it everyone’s “patriotic” duty.

DeSantis has long spoken out and fought against the coercive coronavirus restrictions imposed by the Biden administration, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) vaccine mandate, which the Supreme Court struck down this year. Last month, DeSantis and Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody (R) announced a lawsuit over the Biden administration’s extended mask mandate on planes and at transportation hubs. Twenty other states joined the lawsuit as well.

“This rule, this order is completely outside the bounds of the scope of federal power; as we have argued successfully in numerous other cases, the CDC and the federal government and the Biden administration never had the power to issue this order originally,” Moody said at the time.

“This must be lifted,” she said, adding that they “have a lot of faith in the court that they will agree with our legal analysis.”

The case is Florida v. Walensky, No. 8:22-cv-718 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.


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