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Florida Achieves New Low in Inviting Coronavirus Chaos at Schools

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Florida on Wednesday escalated its war with school districts over mask mandates when a newly appointed, controversial surgeon general issued a rule making it even harder for schools to enforce them while also setting what experts called a dangerous new quarantine policy.

Dr. Joseph Ladapo, who was appointed on Tuesday by Gov. Ron DeSantis, instituted his first rule Wednesday to give parents “sole discretion” over whether their child wears a mask or quarantines if exposed to COVID-19. The change, as reported by the Miami Herald, will also allow students who come in contact with the virus to continue attending class if they remain asymptomatic.

In addition to representing just the latest chapter of pandemic recklessness in a state that has often set the international bar, experts said, the policy also short-circuited a legal challenge to an already-risky policy, effectively trolling parents in the state.

“Essentially, when you have one losing, unlawful policy being challenged, you withdraw it and put in another losing, unlawful policy,” said Lawrence Gostin, a law professor at Georgetown University who specializes in public health and is also a Daily Beast contributor. “It is literally a political ploy.”

A spokesperson for DeSantis and the Surgeon General’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment, except to point to a press conference scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

During a Wednesday press conference, DeSantis touted the new rule, and went after critics who want to follow public-health measures.

“Quarantining healthy students is incredibly damaging for their educational advancement. It’s also incredibly disruptive for families,........

© The Daily Beast

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