NEWS & ANALYSIS

DeSantis to 'Exercise' Authority in Pardoning Gym Owners, Others Over Mask Violations


In yet another random act of federalism, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis promised to pardon a couple in Broward County, both of whom were arrested three times for not requiring a mask at their gym.

On “The Ingraham Angle” Wednesday, DeSantis argued that mask mandates do not align with World Health Organization protocol, adding he was “happy” to use his constitutional authority in situations where local officials overstep their authority.

“It’s a total overreach, Laura,” DeSantis said on the Fox News program. “This is exactly what we ordered against last summer, many, many months ago. And so I was actually just recently briefed on this case, and we looked at it. And so I’m glad you have Mike and Jillian on, and I’m also glad to be on to be able to say that effective tomorrow morning, I’m going to sign a reprieve under my constitutional authority. So that will delay the case for 60 days against both of them. And then when our clemency board meets in the coming weeks, we’ll issue pardons not only for Mike and Jillian, but for any Floridian that may have outstanding infractions for things like masks.”

“The fact is it’s not even right to be wearing masks when you’re exercising,” DeSantis continued. “The World Health Organization advises against it. It’s not healthy for people to be doing that in the first place. So it was a bad restriction. But these things with health should be advisory. They should not be punitive. And so we are happy to use our constitutional authority. I think they’ve been treated poorly, and fortunately, they’ve got a governor that cares.”