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Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy disagrees with the move by GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida to sign an executive order a week and a half ago preventing school districts in his state from mandating that students and school employees wear masks.
“I do disagree with governor DeSantis. The local officials should have control here,” the two-term senator from Louisiana and physician said Sunday during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
The push by DeSantis came amid the surge in COVID cases in Florida due to the spread of the extremely infectious delta variant. And it sparked a well-documented war of words between the potential 2024 GOP presidential contender and President Biden this past week.
“I’m a conservative. I think you govern best when you govern closest to the people being governed. And if a local community is having their ICU is full and the people at the local schools see that they’ve got to make sure they stay open because otherwise children miss out for another year of school and they put in policy, then the local officials should be listened to. That is a conservative principle,” Cassidy elaborated in explaining his opposition to the move by DeSantis.
I don’t want to top down from Washington, D.C. I don’t want to top down from the governor’s office sometimes,” the senator emphasized. “When it comes to local conditions, if my hospital’s full and my vaccination rate is low and infection rate is going crazy, we should allow local officials to make those decisions best for their community.”
Republican Gov. Greg Abbot of Texas also signed an executive order preventing public schools in Texas – where there’s also a surge in new COVID cases – from implementing mask mandates. Cassidy’s home state of Louisiana has also experienced a recent jump in coronavirus cases.
Fox News’ Andres Del Aguila contributed to this report
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