Gov. DeSantis needs to mandate masks and have the National Guard start building mobile ICU’s.

For a few months now I have not been critical of Gov. Ron DeSantis. But as the number of cases in the state of Florida mounts and there is a real need for action it is time for DeSantis to show the state and the nation if he is truly a leader.

Because DeSantis and the mayors of Florida’s biggest cities can’t trust Floridians to do even the most simple of things to protect themselves. He now needs to issue a statewide declaration that people must wear masks or facial coverings any time they enter an indoor space like a house of worship, a business, or any place where more than ten people will be congregating.

Gov. DeSantis has to stand up and make some tough calls because he can’t trust the people of the state to be responsible. (AP-Photo)

If the people of the state of Florida or for that matter the rest of the country can’t be bothered to do the very least they can do to help curb the spread of COVID19 then it is time for Gov. DeSantis to force the issue. Anyone not following this order would be subject to fines.

For those who want to argue this is an infringement on their rights, I will get to you in a minute. But first, we need to address the issue of ICU beds that are filling up all around the state.

The Florida National Guard needs to be mobilized by Gov. DeSantis. They can build pop up ICU units on the grounds of existing hospitals, which is something they have done in the past during hurricanes and other natural disasters.

This would ease the stress on the frontline medical workers who need the peace of mind that there will be beds to take care of the sick if needed.

Now back to you selfish people who clearly can’t be bothered to wear a mask or a face covering. It ranges in age from teenagers to folks well over 65 so this is not a generational issue it is one of blatant stupidity and downright selfishness.

I do not want to hear that the United States government or that Gov. DeSantis doesn’t have the right to make you wear a mask. Forget that it is the easiest way to help stop the spread of COVID 19 so that people can be healthy enough to keep the economy going.

Here are the undeniable facts that the coronavirus mainly spreads through droplets that are emitted when people talk, laugh, sing, cough, and sneeze. Masks lower the likelihood of those droplets reaching other people. Even if you don’t have symptoms, you could be carrying the virus and could spread it.

As to the legality of forcing you to wear a mask or face covering.

The answer is “yes.” In a pandemic, governments have the authority to do a lot of things that would otherwise be questionable.

Think of it like this: The government has the right to ban smoking in public places because your smoking can affect my health. And some places have signs that say, “No shirt, no shoes, no service.” Just add “no mask” to the sign.

As for those who keep rolling out the wearing of masks violates their Constitutional Rights. Here is a very clear answer to the question from our friends at SCOTUS WATCH.

In 1905, the U.S. Supreme Court heard a case about the legality of government forcing the people to be protected from a virus in Jacobson v. Massachusetts. In the midst of a small-pox outbreak, local authorities could mandate vaccination on penalty of a fine for refusal: “Upon the principle of self-defense, of paramount necessity, a community has the right to protect itself against an epidemic of disease which threatens the safety of its members.”

Constitutional doctrine changed profoundly over the ensuing century, not only with respect to due process and equal protection but also individual and associational rights under the First Amendment. Yet Jacobson has continued to be the seminal decision on public health authority in an emergency, against which modern civil rights and liberties are balanced.

This is why Chief Justice John Roberts’s invocation of Jacobson in a recent religious liberty case is a significant signal. In South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom, the Chief Justice affirmed the central position of Jacobson v. Massachusetts:

Our Constitution principally entrusts “[t]he safety and the health of the people” to the politically accountable officials of the States “to guard and protect.” Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U. S. 11, 38 (1905). When those officials “undertake to act in areas fraught with medical and scientific uncertainties,” their latitude “must be especially broad.” Marshall v. United States, 414 U. S. 417, 427 (1974). Where those broad limits are not exceeded, they should not be subject to second-guessing by an “unelected federal judiciary,” which lacks the background, competence, and expertise to assess public health and is not accountable to the people.

The 5-4 decision generated a dissent by Justice Kavanaugh, joined by Justices Thomas and Gorsuch. Still, as the U.S. Supreme Court’s first foray into COVID-19 control efforts by state and local governments, Chief Justice Roberts clearly intended to provide broad guidance to lower courts. Jacobson v. Massachusetts counsels judges to afford wide latitude to the judgment of health experts, so long as such measures are neutral, generally applicable, and have a medical necessity a government can justify.

So, there you go!

Gov. DeSantis mandate masks and call up the Florida National Guard, you need to face this challenge and show that you are a true leader.  

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Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.