(LibertySociety.com) – In May, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced on Fox News that he was going to pardon people who violated mask mandates in the state. His decision came after he learned about South Florida gym owners Mike and Jillian Carnevale’s troubles. The two were arrested multiple times for violating the Broward County mask mandate. The governor called the arrests a “total overreach.”
A month after he promised to make it right for the Carnevales and others, he has done just that.
DeSantis Pardons Floridians
On Wednesday, June 16, DeSantis and the state’s clemency board pardoned anyone in the state who still owes money for social distancing and mask mandate violations. At the beginning of the meeting, the governor stated the pardons were necessary so the Sunshine State could continue to recover. He also said that it was a “recognition that a lot of this stuff was way, way overboard.”
After the board voted, the governor introduced the Carnevales. He said Broward County’s rules were “unwarranted, unreasonable restrictions” on the couple’s business. They were doing what they thought was right, and because of that, they were facing jail time. DeSantis pointed out the absurdity of wasting time prosecuting gym owners when there are so many other crimes taking place that should be punished.
Florida’s COVID-19 Response
Americans have applauded the way DeSantis handled the pandemic from the beginning. Unlike other governors, he didn’t impose harsh restrictions on the state, instead taking more of a hands-off approach. The guidelines he did have in place were lifted relatively quickly, allowing the state to return to normal business operations a lot faster than other places in the US.
In recent weeks, the governor has rolled back all remaining COVID-19 restrictions. He has also banned businesses from putting vaccine passport requirements in place. His goal is to allow people the freedom to make the choices necessary for their own families with as little input from the government as possible.
It seems that his plan worked. Florida’s death tolls from COVID-19 were lower than states like California and New York, both of which had draconian restrictions in place. The lower death count proved that a state could operate in a somewhat normal fashion, not destroy its economy, and make it through the pandemic intact. DeSantis’ latest move is just a continuation of what he has been doing all along to minimize the damage to the residents of his state.
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