A headline from Business Insider via Yahoo! News reports, “Three teachers died of COVID-19 within 24 hours in Broward County, Florida. Schools there are defying Gov. DeSantis’ ban on mask mandates.”
The author of the piece is careful to work in the name of the true culprit, which is not the deadly virus but the Republican governor of the state, Ron DeSantis, who has banned mask mandates in schools.
But as a linked BI article explains:
Eight of the nine members of the Broward County School Board voted to keep the school district’s mask mandate in place for students and staff despite Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ efforts to block schools from doing so. The board also decided to hire outside legal counsel to help challenge DeSantis’ executive orders, WSVN reported.
If teachers in the county schools are wearing masks in defiance of DeSantis’s order, how is he responsible for the three deaths, as the article seems to imply?
The questions begin to mount when you notice the detail buried in one of the bullet points at the beginning of the article that all three teachers were unvaccinated. Maybe wearing a face mask isn’t a substitute for getting the jab — a precaution the union also opposes.
The fact of the three deaths occurring in the space of 24 hours, moreover, was a coincidence since the teachers weren’t even in school when they contracted COVID:
They were on summer break when they caught the virus and died just as the school year was about to begin, said Union President Anna Fusco to NBC Miami.
Finally, if the intent of the BI article is to emphasize the risk DeSantis’s policy poses for students, it should be noted that Broward County schools are not open yet. According to the district’s website, “Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) welcomes students back to class on Wednesday, August 18, 2021.”