Image source: Twitter @WFLAJustin screenshot
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A Florida mother sparked mockery after condemning Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) for denouncing "COVID theater" while standing unmasked next to her masked teenage son.
What is the background?
While visiting the University of South Florida on Wednesday, DeSantis condemned "COVID theater" and advised a group of high school students they could remove their face masks.
"You do not have to wear those masks," DeSantis told the students. "I mean, please take them off. Honestly, it's not doing anything. We've gotta stop with this COVID theater. So if you wanna wear it, fine, but this is ridiculous."
Video of the incident immediately went viral.
What did the mother say?
Dawn Marshall, whose son was in the group of students, fumed to WFLA-TV that DeSantis was essentially overriding parental consent.
"I'm responsible for him, and I told him to wear that mask," Marshall said. "It's just shocking that the governor told these kids, 'Take off your masks.' He pretty much said, 'Take off your mask, it’s stupid. Take off your mask, your parents don’t matter. Even though I’m telling you parents matter,' and he’s telling my minor child to take off his mask."
"He’s putting us at risk," Marshall claimed. "Oh yeah, I was upset. Very upset."
"I took mine off."\n\n"Did you feel pressure by the governor to do that?"\n\n"A little."\n\nThis @HillsboroughSch senior's mom says she's very upset and it was "shocking" for Gov. DeSantis to ask her son & the other high school students to take off their masks. \nhttps://www.wfla.com/news/politics/this-is-ridiculous-desantis-scolds-students-for-wearing-face-masks-during-his-usf-visit/\u00a0\u2026pic.twitter.com/W6WZbAOKh8— Justin Schecker (@Justin Schecker) 1646269270
The video of Marshall quickly circulated on social media because her interview highlighted a glaring juxtaposition: She was not wearing a face mask, despite forcing her son wear one, all while accusing DeSantis of placing people "at risk."
- "Mother expresses indignant fury that @GovRonDeSantis told her son to take off his mask, as she stands there on TV next to her son without a mask on. Beyond parody," Piers Morgan reacted.
- "She’s so outraged she just had to take her mask off to communicate her full anger," writer Brad Polumbo mocked.
- "The best part is this mom isn’t wearing a mask but mad her child took his off Amazing how unaware and hypocritical these people are," MMA fighter Jake Shields observed.
- "Mom is so upset Governor DeSantis said they could take off their masks if they wanted, she completely forgot her own mask!" another person mocked.
- "The maskless mother is upset her masked-while-outside son was told he could take off his mask by Gov DeSantis," radio host Jason Rantz observed.
- "Talk about undue pressure. Look at his mother in the bottom right hand of the screen the entire time. Kid had better do exactly what she told him to do. And this woman is criticizing DeSantis for bullying," YouTuber David Freiheit observed.
- "Where’s her mask? She’s putting her sons life at risk according to her own logic," another person pointed out.
In a statement, DeSantis' office defended the governor's remarks.
"Masks are optional in Florida universities, and this event took place at USF. Everyone who attended had the choice to wear a mask or not, like anyone else in the state, but we want to make sure all Floridians — especially young people, many of whom have been unduly pressured and coerced by schools and employers to wear masks — are informed about the lack of evidence for masks," the statement said.
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Chris Enloe is a staff writer for Blaze News