May 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

DeSantis says he will pardon people who violate COVID-19 restrictions

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) told Fox News that he plans to pardon "any Floridian" who faces "outstanding infractions" for violating COVID-19 guidance like mask mandates and social distancing.

Why it matters: DeSantis, who ended his state's COVID-19 health restrictions on May 3, said Wednesday that the virus-related mandates were a "total overreach."

The big picture: DeSantis was galvanized by the case of Mike and Jillian Carnevale, who were arrested after violating a county mask mandate, the New York Times reports.

  • On Thursday DeSantis signed an executive order instituting a 60-day deferment for "any individual or business that has been or could be" prosecuted for violating local government COVID-19 health restrictions.

What they're saying: "These things with health should be advisory. They should not be punitive" DeSantis said on Fox.

What's next: DeSantis told Fox he will seek a statewide pardon for such cases when Florida's clemency board meets "in the coming weeks."

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