Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Florida) issued an executive order to block mask mandates for students, letting parents or guardians choose whether their child wears a face-covering inside the school.

Shortly after, the Broward County School District, which mandated mask wearing for students and teachers amid the growing delta variant of COVID-19 throughout Florida, dropped its requirement.

“The federal government has no right to tell parents that in order for their kids to attend school in person, they must be forced to wear a mask all day, every day,” the governor said in a statement. “Many Florida schoolchildren have suffered under forced masking policies, and it is prudent to protect the ability of parents to make decisions regarding the wearing of masks by their children.”

Later that day, DeSantis tweeted that his executive order was to ensure the “parents’ freedom” to decide what’s best for their children.

“I signed an executive order directing [Florida Department of Health] to enter rulemaking in collaboration with [Florida Department of Education] to protect parents’ freedom to choose whether their children wear masks in schools,” DeSantis tweeted.

In the statement, the governor’s office accused the Biden administration of giving out “unscientific and inconsistent recommendations” about the face mask.

“Today’s action is in response to several Florida school boards considering or implementing mask mandates in their schools after the Biden Administration issued unscientific and inconsistent recommendations that school-aged children wear masks,” the statement reads.

The Florida Hospital Association released a statement on Wednesday saying that unvaccinated and younger people are the new target of the COVID-19.

“The virus has a new target: the unvaccinated and younger people,” said Florida Hospital Association President Mary Mayhew in a statement. “Previously healthy people from their teens to their 40s are now finding themselves in the hospital and on a ventilator… What you heard last year and last spring about this virus mostly targeting seniors and those with pre-existing conditions is not true today.”

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