Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) said Wednesday night he will issue pardons to Floridians charged with violating COVID pandemic mask and social distancing rules. DeSantis made the announcement on the Fox News Channel show the Ingraham Angle during a segment on a couple, Mike and Jillian Carnevale, who had been arrested three times and were facing jail time for not making customers wear masks while exercising at their Broward County gym, including outdoors. DeSantis had previously suspended outstanding fines and penalty for COVID violations, but the Carnevales were still facing prosecution.
DeSantis said, “…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 gonna to sign a reprieve under my constitutional authority. So that’ll delay the case for sixty 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. The fact is it’s not even right to be wearing masks when you’re exercising. 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 this things with health should be advisory, they should not be punitive. And so we’re happy to use our Constitutional authority. I think they’ve been treated poorly and fortunately they got a governor that cares.”