WATCH: DeSantis Jokingly Chides University Students for Wearing Masks

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis pointedly told a group of college students at a podium with him that they did not have to wear masks if they didn’t want to.

DeSantis was visiting the University of South Florida to introduce a program that provides new funding for cybersecurity education.

“You do not have to wear those masks,” Governor DeSantis said. “I mean, please take them off. Honestly, it’s not doing anything and we’ve gotta stop with this COVID theater. So if you want to wear it, fine, but this is, this is ridiculous.”

WATCH:

Some students then proceeded to take off their masks.

The Republican governor has regularly pushed back on mask-wearing.

Last month, he said parents should be able to sue school districts if their child “was illegally forced-masked this year in Florida.” He cited “any negative effects of it, if they have speech problems, if they have emotional problems, physical problems.” 

“They flouted the law and they should be liable for the consequences of their actions,” DeSantis added.

Also Tuesday, DeSantis announced that the state’s surgeon general has issued new guidelines for Florida employees, giving them more freedom from mask requirements.

“Simply relying on outdated CDC guidance when the experience has completely undercut that is not really a reasonable thing to do at this point,” DeSantis said in a video posted online.

A 9 to 5 job should not be an N-95 job,” he quipped.

KNOW MORE:

Fla. Gov. DeSantis Vows to Pardon Residents Who Violated COVID-19 Rules