Gov. DeSantis will pardon ALL Floridians being prosecuted for failing to wear masks or socially distance as he surprises couple on Fox with the announcement after they were arrested for not enforcing COVID rules at their gym

 Florida's governor on Wednesday night announced live on air clemency for everyone in his state who is being punished for violating COVID rules.

Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor of the state, appeared on Fox News to make the announcement.

He was flanked by Mike and Jillian Carnevale, gym owners from Plantation, Florida, who were repeatedly arrested for refusing to enforce a mask mandate.


The state itself didn't have mask mandates, as DeSantis spoke strongly against them throughout the height of the pandemic, but individual counties and municipalities did have them, despite DeSantis inveighing against them.

Now, people who were ensnared by the local rules will have their slates wiped clean, DeSantis said. 

Ron DeSantis appeared on Fox News on Wednesday night to make his announcement

Ron DeSantis appeared on Fox News on Wednesday night to make his announcement

DeSantis announced that he was granting clemency to the Carnevales (left)

DeSantis announced that he was granting clemency to the Carnevales (left)

Mike Carnevale was first arrested on July 27, for what their supporters, in a GoFundMe page to pay their legal costs, described as 'taking a stand for the health and freedom of his community and country'.


He was arrested twice more, on August 6, and August 7, for not enforcing facial coverings during strenuous exercise. Jillian Carnevale was also arrested on August 7. 

The couple will be granted clemency, DeSantis said, describing the punishment as 'a total overreach' - and the same deal will be granted to everyone in his state.


'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,' he said. 

'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 and social distancing.'      

DeSantis earlier this month lifted all of the state's remaining COVID rules saying the state is 'no longer in a state of emergency'.

DeSantis was at a waterfront restaurant in St. Petersburg when he signed SB-2006 - a bill that allows him to override all local rules and bans vaccine passports from July 1 onward. 

Florida is among only five states that have opened fully, according to a tally being kept by Multistate, a government-relations firm. 

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas and Georgia all have 100 percent scores on the firm's tally when it comes to being fully open. Eight other states are almost all the way open - with a 96 score. (Illinois is the lowest with 45 and New York is 52, while California is 50.)

As for the clemency, Florida is the first state in the U.S. to issue such a clemency, and DeSantis has positioned himself throughout the pandemic as a pro-Trump bulwark against Democrat 'authoritarianism'. 

The number of people affected remains unclear. 

For perspective, just in Miami-Dade County alone, there were 1,882 citations issued totaling $760,600, The Orlando Sentinel reported at the end of October.

Another 215 citations totaling $109,650 were issued by the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department, comprising 45 per cent of the $1,940,162 in fines tallied by DeSantis' office.

In Naples, 3,996 citations worth $789,762 were issued, nearly 41 per cent of the total.

Demonstrators march through Sanford, Florida on July 1 in a protest against lockdown

Demonstrators march through Sanford, Florida on July 1 in a protest against lockdown

Floridians have strongly pushed back against CDC guidelines during the pandemic

Floridians have strongly pushed back against CDC guidelines during the pandemic

Florida, hard-hit by the pandemic in the early days, was lax about restrictions by April 2021

Florida, hard-hit by the pandemic in the early days, was lax about restrictions by April 2021

Partygoers flocked to the state in March and April, to flaunt CDC guidelines without fear

Partygoers flocked to the state in March and April, to flaunt CDC guidelines without fear

Overall, 52 out of 67 counties and 212 out of more than 400 municipalities responded to the Sentinel's inquiry. 

In metro Orlando, no fines were issued.

Orange County did report 13 arrests of people who violated the curfew when it was in effect, the paper said.

Florida, meanwhile, has stood out from many other states when it comes to its hands-off coronavirus rules.  

Since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, no two states have been more different in their approaches than California and Florida, for instance.

In early March, California Gov Gavin Newsom limited gatherings, closed bars and indoor dining at restaurants, implemented mask mandates and implored residents to stay at home.

Comparatively, Florida Gov Ron DeSantis has enacted few measures, lifting an ordinance that prevented people from operating businesses and restaurants as well as lifting COVID-19 related fines and penalties in September  

Despite these different approaches, both states ended up with roughly the same outcome. A DailyMail.com analysis showed that as of mid-February, over the preceding two months, the states have each seen cases, deaths and hospitalizations fall by about one-third.

Maskless Spring Breakers take to the streets in Miami
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A protester in Volusia County, angered by a rule that masks must be worn inside schools

A protester in Volusia County, angered by a rule that masks must be worn inside schools


Still, not all is rosy. More recent data points a more mixed picture.  

Cases of variant forms of COVID have surged in Florida just weeks after the state was inundated with spring breakers, data has revealed earlier this week.

Florida now has the distinction of being the home to the most variant COVID-19 cases in the country as state health officials reported more than 11,800 cases of COVID-19 variants on Wednesday, the Sun Sentinel reported.

In mid-March 753 cases were reported from three 'variants of concern' - the B.1.1.7, the P.1, and the B. 1.3.5.1.  

That number swelled to 5,177 cases from five types of variants on April 15 and just two weeks later, the number of variant infections exploded to 9,248 on April 27, according to health data reviewed by WFTV.

In Florida, 243 people have been hospitalized with variants and 67 have died.

And since only one percent of all COVID-19 cases in Florida undergo testing to study their genetic coding, the number of variant infections is likely much higher than reported.

There are fears that the spread of variants could make vaccines less effective, and prolong the covid pandemic as people who have already had the disease or been vaccinated risk being reinfected.

Gov. DeSantis will pardon ALL Floridians being prosecuted for failing to wear masks or socially distance as he surprises couple on Fox with the announcement after they were arrested for not enforcing COVID rules at their gym Gov. DeSantis will pardon ALL Floridians being prosecuted for failing to wear masks or socially distance as he surprises couple on Fox with the announcement after they were arrested for not enforcing COVID rules at their gym Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 05:16 Rating: 5

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