Kids will NOT be forced to wear masks in Florida schools come August. That's the word from the governor.
"As of right now all the school districts are going in that direction, but there is going to be, it looks like, a campaign from Washington to try and change that."
Ron DeSantis' comments came after President Biden said during a CNN town hall that kids under 12 will likely have to wear masks in class.
The COVID vaccine is not available for anyone under 12 and the nation is in the middle of a surge of cases due to the Delta variant.
The governor says he's ready to work with the state Legislature if there are some school districts that try to mandate the masks.
He says some schools had mask policies in place during the last school year, while others didn't and the outcomes were not meaningfully different. So, he doesn't feel there's a reason to "muzzle" kids in class.
DeSantis is looking forward to kids having the chance to "learn like normal kids" this year.
The governor also responded to questions about a group of doctors criticizing his response to a surge in COVID cases.
"People need to make decisions what's best for them. But to have the government come in and lock anyone down or restrict anybody is totally unacceptable. And it's easy for some physician to advocate that because it doesn't affect them."
The doctors accuse the governor of taking a "victory lap" after nearly 40,000 Floridians have died from the coronavirus.
They say they want a plan from DeSantis to address the surge in COVID cases.
The governor vowed to protect people's livelihoods and their rights to run their small businesses, as well as the right of kids to go to school.
Gov. DeSantis was surrounded by children during his appearance at Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, as he signed a bill that promotes early childhood literacy.