Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has openly challenged facts, information, and recommendations since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, even going as far as disputing its existence.
Now, a recent video of DeSantis and a group questioning the effectiveness of anti-COVID-19 measures has been removed by YouTube.
The Alphabet-owned streaming giant said it removed the video because it "included content that contradicts the consensus of local and global health authorities" on whether masks work.
The video showed a roundtable meeting of DeSantis questioning whether it's necessary for children to wear masks and other attendees declaring that it is not. The group included known lockdown opposers, including Scott Atlas, the former advisor to President Donald Trump; Oxford epidemiologist Sunetra Gupta; Harvard professor Martin Kulldorff; and Stanford University's Dr. Jay Bhattacharya.
"There's no scientific rationale or logic to have children wear masks in schools," Atlas said on the video. DeSantis and the group then expanded into questioning the necessity of masks and mask mandates overall.
Two of the world’s most prominent health organizations have taken different positions on children wearing masks. (via Business Insider):
- The World Health Organization says only children under 5 should not have to wear masks. It says those ages 6 to 11 should wear them if there are high transmission rates in the local area and children ages 12 and over should wear them in the same conditions as adults.
- The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says children can get infected with the coronavirus and transmit it to others, hence the need for masks in schools. It says that the risk of them getting seriously ill is smaller.
DeSantis has always been a staunch opponent to restrictions imposed to stop the spread of COVID-19, and he’s dug in his heels even further as the Biden administration has stepped into power. He declared in March that “he would not let Biden lock down Florida” after the new President said they may be necessary if the pandemic worsened, and said he would sue the CDC to remove restrictions on cruise ships sailing from U.S. ports.