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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."

Go deeper

Updated Aug 23, 2021 - Health

Jesse and Jacqueline Jackson "responding positively" to COVID treatment

The Rev. Jesse Jackson and Jacqueline Jackson at a 2018 Congressional Black Caucus Foundation event in Washington, D.C. Photo: Earl Gibson III/Getty Images

The Rev. Jesse Jackson and his wife, Jacqueline Jackson, were "responding positively" to treatment Sunday — one day after being hospitalized with COVID-19, their son said.

Details: Physicians at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago were "carefully monitoring" the 79-year-old civil rights leader and Jacqueline Jackson "especially because of their ages," said Jonathan Jackson in a statement Sunday.

Aug 21, 2021 - Health

FDA urges people to stop taking ivermectin to treat COVID-19

Photo: Soumyabrata Roy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday urged people to stop taking ivermectin — a drug used to treat parasites in animals — to respond to or prevent the coronavirus.

Driving the news: The Mississippi State Health Department on Friday sent a letter warning health workers of the increase in poisonings from people taking ivermectin.

Aug 22, 2021 - Health

Kentucky governor loses COVID emergency powers legal challenge

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear during an April press conference in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty Images

The Kentucky Supreme Court on Saturday ordered a lower court to dissolve an injunction that had prevented Republican-backed legislation from limiting the executive authority of Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear during the pandemic.

Why it matters: Beshear has imposed emergency health measures including an indoor mask mandate for K-12 schools, child care and pre-kindergartens, as cases surge across the state. The ruling paves the way for the Republican-led legislature to enact legislation curbing his emergency powers.