(CNS News) -- Although many liberal governors and teachers' unions are keeping public schools closed in many states, Florida's Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis reasserted last week his policy of keeping the schools open (with option to stay home), and said that closing the schools because of COVID is "probably the biggest public health blunder in Modern American history."
At a Nov. 30 press conference with Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran at Boggy Creek Elementary School, Gov. DeSantis said, “As we see schools, unfortunately, remain closed in key pockets in our country, today’s announcement doubles down on Florida’s commitment to our students and to our parents."
"And the announcement is this," he said, "schools will remain open for in-person instruction, and we will continue to offer parents choices for this spring semester, and every parent in Florida can take that to the bank."
"The reason why we’re doing that is because the data and evidence are overwhelmingly clear, virtual learning is just not the same as being in person," said the governor. "I think teachers in Florida have done a great job of trying to improvise -- and really particularly in those early days -- but the fact of the matter is the medium is just not the same as being in the classroom."
He continued, "I would say that closing schools due to coronavirus is probably the biggest public health blunder in modern American history. ... The harm from this is going to reverberate in those communities for years and years to come."
"The tragedy of all this is that the evidence has been remarkably clear since the spring, that closing schools offers virtually nothing in terms of virus mitigation," he said, "but imposes a huge cost on our kids, our parents, and on our society."
"People who advocate closing schools for virus mitigation are effectively today's flat-Earthers, they have no scientific or evidence support for their position," said the governor.