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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that he would apologize “any Floridian” who violates mask or social distancing mandates.
Mr. DeSantis, a Republican, made the announcement during an appearance on Fox News’ Ingraham Angle. After the show host Laura Ingraham interviewed gym owners in Broward County who said they were arrested for violating a mask mandate in the county, DeSantis said her case was “a total overreach”.
He said he would give respite to delay the case and that when the state mercy office meets on June 16, he will not only meet business owners Mike and Jillian Carnevale, but also “any Floridian who may have pending violations , Would issue pardons for things like masks or social distancing. “
“I think they were treated badly,” he said. “Fortunately, they have a governor to take care of it.”
In an executive order issued on Thursday, Mr. DeSantis granted a “categorical, nationwide 60-day period for individuals or companies that have been or may be prosecuted for violating local Covid-19 restrictions.” He also said in the order that he would propose a nationwide pardon for these individuals or companies at the meeting of the grace committee.
Widely regarded as a candidate for Republican President in 2024, Mr DeSantis has criticized the coronavirus’ restrictions and mandates throughout the pandemic.
In his appearance on Fox News Wednesday night, DeSantis said restrictions like mask mandates should be advice and “non-criminal”. On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that Americans fully vaccinated against the coronavirus will no longer be allowed to wear masks or social distancing in most indoor and outdoor areas.
Mr Carnevale said he and Ms. Carnevale were arrested three times for violating Broward County’s mask mandate. Mr Carnevale has been charged with two second degree offenses and if convicted he would be sentenced to 120 days in prison, and Ms. Carnevale has been charged with a second degree offense that threatens 60 days in jail, said Cory Strolla, an attorney who the couple.
Broward County prosecutors had separately offered the couple to participate in a misdemeanor distraction program that would dismiss their case upon completion of the program, said prosecutor spokeswoman Paula McMahon.
Broward County’s District Attorney Harold F. Pryor said in a statement, “The cases are pending and we will continue to obey the law unless and until the governor takes official action.”
Last month, Mr DeSantis issued an executive order that banned companies from requiring customers or customers to produce vaccination documents. or the risk of losing government-funded grants or contracts. Norwegian Cruise Line, which requires all guests and crew to be vaccinated, considered skipping the Florida ports over the order.
Michael Levenson contributed to the coverage.