Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his administration have fought a war with the state's school districts who want to protect their students and faculty by mandating masks for as long as the coronavirus pandemic continues. The delta variant of the coronavirus is killing the unvaccinated and even leading to breakthrough cases among those are vaccinated.
Opposition to wearing masks has been heavily politized by Republicans and led the most ambitious grand old buffoons to make it one of their central issues.
Now that kids are returning to school in Florida, the number of them killed by COVID has more than doubled and the state is also home to a disproportionate number of new infections among children over the last month.
TALLAHASSEE — Florida reached another grim Covid milestone amid the Delta surge: Since August, the number of Covid-related child deaths in the state has more than doubled.
The childhood fatalities have left pediatric experts deeply concerned about how the virus will affect youngsters in the months ahead as children interact in classrooms, even as the overall number of infections and hospitalizations in the state appears to be cresting. [...]
There were 254,412 childhood Covid infections at the end of July, but the state added 146,604 from July 30 to Sept. 2. The state data does not break down the number of new infections by age, though children 12 and older are eligible to receive the vaccine. Nationally, there were more than 750,000 new Covid infections in children from Aug. 5 to Sept. 2, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Who opposed the wearing of masks?
Who tried or succeeded in banning most abortions?
Who tried to restrict transgender rights?
These are the questions that Republican primary voters will be asking during the next election cycle and that's why GOP lawmakers and governors are all doing it. No one will be able to claim the GOP nomination unless they've checked all of their culture war boxes. And to these ends, getting people killed just affirms your conservative bona fides.
If Donald Trump runs for office again, I have little doubt that he'll be the nominee. But Trump will still be the nominee in spirit even if he doesn't. Any future GOP nominee will have to think like him, talk like him, and have the same policies as him.