Ron DeSantis has long acted like a tough guy. As governor of Florida, he’s cast himself in a Trumpian mold (much to the fury of Trump himself). He talks smack about anyone who gets in his way, from academics teaching about racial injustice, LGBTQ+ people, and doctors and scientists who’ve advised things like masks and vaccines as ways to combat a highly contagious virus that is very much still around. Now it even includes students who simply want to stay safe, perhaps for immunocompromised relatives.
Ron DeSantis just yelled at students for wearing masks. This is not a leader. This is a bully. A petulant child. Shameful.pic.twitter.com/tu9gyY1DPh
— MeidasTouch.com (@MeidasTouch) March 2, 2022
On Wednesday, footage leaked of DeSantis’ prelude to what was supposed to be a simple publicity event, in which he touted new funding for cybersecurity education at the University of South Florida. Audio reveals the governor berated a bunch of teenagers positioned behind his podium who dared be masked-up.
“You do not have to wear those masks,” DeSantis barked at them. “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 ridiculous,” he said with a loud scoff.
DeSantis has long made a big show of opposing health safety measures, even as cases and deaths in his state skyrocketed. He’s blocked mask mandates and even signed an executive order withholding state funds to any school that tries to impose them. He believes in the freedom to do whatever you want whenever you want, but he also apparently enjoys bullying people much younger than him.
When footage of DeSantis berating teenagers leaked, the governor — one of the Republican frontrunners in the 2024 presidential election — was dragged.
If @GovRonDeSantis talked to my child that way, I would have cussed him clean out in front of everybody. What a punk ass move to get loud with kids who aren’t in a position to tell you to fuck off. https://t.co/c658NwL4ft
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) March 3, 2022
Looks like Governor DeSantis needs some anger management classes.
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) March 2, 2022
NEW: Footage just surfaced of Ron DeSantis bullying students for wearing masks. pic.twitter.com/G1tfbColnc
— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC) March 2, 2022
Are. You. Kidding. Me.
This man is absolute garbage. My son wears a mask every day because I have a pre-existing condition. He does it to keep me alive. This man belittling children protecting themselves because it doesn’t go with his performative politics? Repugnant. https://t.co/RoQR8BnZ4M
— PoliticsGirl (@IAmPoliticsGirl) March 2, 2022
And after he “yelled” at them he tackled them and ripped the masks from their faces then tore his shirt off and pounded his chest while screaming “MAGAAAAAA!!” https://t.co/1RT6T6h2CC
— ✌🏿Hollaria Briden, Esq. (@HollyBriden) March 2, 2022
your future Republican nominee for President ladies and gents https://t.co/lufobtgeLX
— Peter Rosenberg (@Rosenbergradio) March 2, 2022
That’s one way to get everyones attention, nice job Ron DeSantis. 😳
You will never catch me bullying kids for protecting themselves and others. This infuriates me. https://t.co/sMbIV0bSfM
— Ryan Shead (@RyanShead) March 2, 2022
It’s always the thin-skinned loser fake tough guys that are the weakest among us. https://t.co/qcqTcuGJOJ
— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) March 2, 2022
Demanding someone to take off their mask is the same as demanding them to wear one. What’s it to you? What if someone is immune compromised? Or thinks they were exposed? People’s “freedom” has to work both ways. DeSantis is not leader, he’s an ignorant bully. https://t.co/LnosxFTNer
— Daisy Fuentes Marx (@DaisyFuentes) March 2, 2022
He's so angry that other people choose to protect themselves. I could practically hear his heart racing. He's an abuser trying not to abuse but failing. https://t.co/BQu7JStmvL
— Kimberley Johnson 🇺🇦 (@AuthorKimberley) March 2, 2022
Sure would be a shame if the footage was aired constantly if or when he runs for president. But then, he probably knows Republican voters are not only not turned off by such behavior, but quite the opposite.
(Via News Channel 8)