The governors filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of a 2018 Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks. The filing doesn’t make these states party to Mississippi’s defense of its statute, but voices their legal support for that state’s case.
Republicans were emboldened in the 23 states where they control the governorship and both houses of the legislature. Other factors include a newly conservative U.S. Supreme Court, GOP backlash over former President Donald Trump’s reelection loss and a tidal wave of social media campaigns and commentary aimed at galvanizing conservatives by playing up divisive cultural issues.
While the Flagler Health Department and AdventHealth Palm Coast are overrun with Covid cases and in-patients, local governments have gone silent, indifferent to the worst wave of the pandemic yet, making a mockery of their claim of a “partnership” with the Health Department or the hospital and amplifying community apathy that multiplies infections.
Lack of notice to the press — intermediaries for the taxpayers the governor works for — has been a persistent problem for the DeSantis administration, though it’s not a problem specific to him. Other governors have played the same games.
Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday afternoon held a roundtable discussion about masks at schools with representatives of charter and private schools, but not traditional public education. Media, the teachers’ union and even the Department of Education were not made aware.
Most of the dollars have yet to be disbursed by state government to school districts for this past school year and this coming school year, and the 2021-22 academic year is just a few weeks away. That means initiatives outlined by the federal government, such as tackling student learning losses during the pandemic, are stuck waiting to help vulnerable students.
Children under 12 are not yet eligible to be vaccinated, making them more vulnerable for infection–and transmission to adults, but DeSantis is fighting any mask mandate in schools and Flagler schools are not changing course from a mask-optional approach when school resumes on Aug. 10.
This fourth wave of covid is ravaging the state. It was entirely preventable but for glib, “don’t Fauci my Florida” recklessness and the militancy, disinformation and poisonous selfishness of the unvaccinated. This is on them.
Florida physicians say DeSantis should spend more time talking to people about the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines and less time attacking federal infectious-disease expert Anthony Fauci in hopes of scoring political points.
DeSantis pointed to $4.8 million in the current state budget allocated for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Center for Red Tide Research, adding that an emergency declaration would only be warranted if the state needed to access unallocated general revenue.