Florida Official Blasts Mask Mandates, Suggests Citizens Should Refuse

As cases of COVID-19 start to rise across the United States, a growing number of public and private institutions are ramping up their calls for renewed mandates involving face mask use and vaccination.

Nearly four years since the pandemic began, however, a large number of Americans are adamantly opposed to any such restrictions — and some critics even believe that the mandates might be used to suppress voter turnout in next year’s presidential election.

While the White House has not confirmed any new mask requirements, President Joe Biden announced last week that he would be requesting funds to develop and promote a new vaccine.

“I signed off this morning on a proposal we have to present to the Congress a request for additional funding for a new vaccine that is necessary, that works,” he said on Friday. “It will likely be recommended that everybody get it no matter whether they’ve gotten it before or not.”

Some schools, healthcare facilities, and even private businesses have already begun to roll out their own internal mask mandates in response to the seasonal elevation in the number of COVID-19 cases.

Meanwhile, a number of conservative officials are preemptively working to defang any potential public mandates that might surface in the future.

For his part, Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo — a long-time skeptic of mask and vaccine mandates — issued a statement calling for conscientious objection.

“What do you call re-imposing mask policies that have been proven ineffective or restarting lockdowns that are known to cause harm?” he asked. “You don’t call it sanity. These terrible policies only work with your cooperation. How about refusing to participate.”

Although he has faced serious backlash from pro-mandate sources within his state and beyond, Ladapo has maintained a clear position against forcing Floridians to receive a vaccine or wear a face mask in public.

Nearly a year and a half ago, he asserted that mask mandates are based on “a lie,” adding: “It needs to stop and people need to un-believe it.”

He also worked alongside Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis to implement a ban on vaccine requirements in schools, which the governor said earlier this year “goes back to the idea of prescribing freedom” and “makes all these protections permanent that we have done over the last two years.”

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