Ron DeSantis, Smug Asshole, Takes Time Out of His Day to Yell at Students for Wearing Masks

As COVID-19 cases fall throughout the country, many states and cities have been easing or entirely removing vaccine and mask mandates. For example, as of this week in New York City, which had previously implemented some of the strongest public health measures, businesses are no longer required to ask customers for proof of full vaccination or require facial coverings, and masking rules have been lifted in many schools. Of course, this doesn‘t mean that people can’t wear masks anymore, just that they don’t have to. Obviously, some people continue to do so, for a variety of very good reasons that range from concern over death rates remaining “stubbornly high” to underlying conditions to mere personal preference. After two terrifying years, some people just aren’t ready to give up this protective measure, and if it brings them comfort and doesn‘t hurt anyone else, what’s wrong with that? According to the governor of Florida, a lot!

Appearing at a press conference at the University of South Florida on Wednesday, Ron DeSantis scolded a bunch of students behind him for wearing masks. “You do not have to wear those masks,” he said angrily. “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.”

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Many of the kids took the masks off, probably not because they actually felt comfortable doing so but because the most powerful person in the state had just basically told them he’d be pissed if they didn’t. Three kept them on and should probably be given some kind of award for standing up to a jackass. According to The Washington Post, CDC data shows that the county where DeSantis’s Wednesday event took place continues to record “high levels of the coronavirus,” and masks are “recommended indoors.”

DeSantis, of course, has never been very interested in taking extremely easy steps to protect Florida’s residents from COVID-19. Last year, amidst the delta variant surge, the governor issued an executive order banning schools from implementing mask mandates, threatening to withhold funding from school boards that chose to do so. Earlier this year, during the surge of the omicron variant, he said the testing of asymptomatic people—who can still spread the virus!—was “lockdown by stealth.” DeSantis has also consistently refused to say if he got a booster shot, a deliberate omission even Donald Trump—yes, that Donald Trump!—has called “gutless.”

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Meet the Republicans who think invading a neighboring country is fine

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Report: China asked Russia to hold off on invading Ukraine until the Olympics were over

And Russia apparently said sure, we totally get it, and pushed “go to war with Ukraine” back on its calendar a few days. Per the The New York Times:

A Western intelligence report said senior Chinese officials told senior Russian officials in early February not to invade Ukraine before the end of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, according to senior Biden administration officials and a European official…. President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia met with President Xi Jinping of China in Beijing on Feb. 4 before the opening ceremony of the Olympics. Moscow and Beijing issued a 5,000-word statement at the time declaring that their partnership had “no limits,” denouncing NATO enlargement and asserting that they would establish a new global order with true “democracy.”

China held the closing ceremony of the Olympics on Feb. 20. The next day, Mr. Putin ordered more Russian troops to enter an insurgent-controlled area of eastern Ukraine after state television broadcast a meeting between him and his national security council and, separately, a furious speech in which he said Ukraine should be a part of Russia. Early on Feb. 24, the Russian military began a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, including carrying out attacks on cities with ballistic missiles, artillery and tanks.

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