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Gov. Ron DeSantis at the University of South Florida in TampaTwitter

TAMPA, Florida (LifeSiteNews) – Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told a group of students today to take off their masks while making an announcement at the University of South Florida (USF).

“You do not have to wear those masks,” he said. “Please take them off, honestly, it’s not doing anything.”

DeSantis was at USF to make an announcement about an increase of funding geared toward creating and expanding cybersecurity and information technology training opportunities for Florida students.

He told the students that if they “want to wear” the masks, then that was fine, but “we’ve gotta stop with this COVID theater.”

“This is ridiculous,” he added.

There are hundreds of studies showing that masks are ineffective and even harmful when used with the intention of stopping the spread of COVID.

Children are especially harmed by consistent mask wearing, especially small children who miss out on vital speech development without being able to pick up on facial expressions associated with speech.