WATCH: Gov. Ron DeSantis Holds Roundtable Discussion With Medical Experts Regarding Masks in Schools

ABOVE VIDEO: Gov. Ron DeSantis holds roundtable discussion with medical experts, a concerned parent and an upcoming senior student to discuss masks in schools.

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – Gov. Ron DeSantis held a roundtable discussion amid the growing outcry from the CDC to make kids wear masks as children prepare to return to in the next two weeks.

The roundtable discussion discussed the CDC’s new guidelines released that recommended K-12 student should wear masks.

The roundtable featured professor of Medicine at Stanford University Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, Dr. Mark McDonald, a psychiatrist from California, and Dr. H. Cody Meissner, at Tufts Children Hospital.

“I think our fear is that seeing some of those rumblings, that there be an attempt from the federal level or even some of these organizations to try to push for mandatory masking of school children,” DeSantis said.

“It should not be mandated. I know our Legislature feels strongly about it, such that if you started to see a push from the feds or some of these local school districts, I know they’re interested in coming in, even in a special session to be able to provide protections for parents and kids who just want to breathe freely and don’t want to be suffering under these masks during the school year.”

Below is a transcription of the above video clip:

Gov. DeSantis
In Florida, at this point, our school districts have have proposed the mask optional, but I think our fear is, is that seeing some of those rumblings that there be an attempt from the federal level or even some of these organizations to try to push for mandatory masking of schoolchildren. And so our view is that this should absolutely not be imposed. It should not be mandated. And I know our legislature feels strongly about it such that if if you started to see a push from the feds or some of these local school districts, I know they’re interested in coming in, even in a special session, to be able to provide protections for parents and kids who just want to breathe freely and don’t want to be suffering under these mass during the school year.

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya
I don’t think the Delta variant changes the calculus or or the or the evidence in any fundamental way. Governor. So if you look at the data from before the Delta variant, look at Sweden, for instance, that kept their schools open, unmasked, no social distancing all year, the teachers themselves, and this is before the vaccine, were at lower risk of of covid deaths than the population at large. Other workers in the population and the kids themselves had had zero deaths.

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya
I think in Sweden during that time. I think I saw a study in Florida that that the schools that imposed masks had actually had higher rates of teacher teachers getting sick of it. And the kids themselves, actually. I mean, there’s no difference in outcomes because the kids are actually pretty protected from covid just by dint of being kids. So so the correlation Levon’s, I think, is mixed. And there’s literally no randomized evidence whatsoever for these mass in schools.

Dr. Cody Meissner
And then even if they do become infected, the likelihood that they will become sick is quite small. I mean, that data is pretty clear. So I strongly disagree with the recommendation that all children two years and above need to wear a mask. And in fact, there is some studies that suggest a child is less likely to become infected in school than she or he is at home. So it’s I think that it’s a very difficult issue, but I think people like to say they’re basing their decisions on science, but they’re not.

Dr. Cody Meissner
They’re basing their recommendations on emotion.

Dr. Mark McDonald
My position is simple. Masking children is child abuse. There is no evidence to support the contention that masks prevent the transmission of respiratory illness through viruses at all, and there’s substantial evidence shows that children have been medically, physically and psychologically harmed by mandatory mask mandates.

Gov. DeSantis
Is there any. Basis in terms of your covid experience, did you guys do any worse than any of the schools that required Masti knowledge we had? Yeah, we didn’t have any massive outbreaks and have to shut down the school or anything like that.

Dr. David Withun
It was essentially a normal year with children out sick occasionally.

Anita Whitby Davis
Well, I’m glad that you’re having this discussion simply because as a parent liaison for governance charter academy specifically, we want it to be a parental choice. Right. If you feel strongly about that. And that’s fine. However, our little ones don’t really understand that when they arrive at Governors Charter Academy, they don’t understand the social distancing, the mask wearing. And it is very challenging. And that then requires staff, teachers to police the mask wearing. And much like my counterpart from Jacksonville Classical, we did not have large breakouts at Governors Charter Academy with our children.

Anita Whitby Davis
Well, as a mom at home, our boys are participating in sports without masks and we are doing our part right. So I think it comes down to accountability and that’s what you’re doing. You’re allowing each individual to make that. And if we mandate it, then what are we really saying?

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya
And so the mass themselves have a marginal, if any, benefit marginal benefit in slowing the spread of the disease and of course, mass do actually cause some harm to children and developmentally. So I don’t think that the calculus has changed at all. It’s still the same. I think on net, it’s not a good idea to mass children.

Everett Thompson
It was. Quite a challenge to adapt to it and have to live your day wearing a mask and have to abide by that and you can’t slip up and forget your mask or actually have it down. But it really caused a problem for my learning. I know a lot of my peers learning as well. Because we depend so much on facial expressions and reading lips to comprehend new things and learn from our teachers, and we just got none of that because all you see is a mask as well as like you walk into a classroom.

Everett Thompson
You’re so used to being greeted by a great smile and said, all you see is a mask and it’s still and you’re in you’re in the courtyard with your friends hanging out during your break and you just want to relax and have a good time between your breaks and the glasses and not worry about school and you can’t see them laugh or smile. It’s just the masks. So it was quite a challenge and very different.

Dr. Mark McDonald
Every thoughtful, rational adult knows that children do not need to have their faces covered, more children died of influenza last year. Then ostensibly died of all of the variants combined, and yet we never asked children to wear masks during flu season. Why are we asking to wear masks now?

Shortly after the roundtable discussion Gov. DeSantis’ office released the following statement:

“Governor DeSantis believes that parents know what’s best for their children; therefore, parents in Florida are empowered to make their own choices with regards to masking. Experts have raised legitimate concerns that the risks of masking outweigh the potential benefits for children, because masking children can negatively impact their learning, speech, emotional and social development, and physical health (e.g., infections from bacteria that’s often found on masks, difficulty breathing while exercising in masks, etc.) Fortunately, the data indicate that COVID is not a serious risk to healthy children, which is why schools in most countries were among the first institutions to reopen. At the end of the day, the Governor trusts parents to weigh the risks and benefits and make the best choices for their kids.”

The post WATCH: Gov. Ron DeSantis Holds Roundtable Discussion With Medical Experts Regarding Masks in Schools first appeared on Space Coast Daily.

Read at the Space Coast Daily