DeSantis’ silence on masks betrays military lesson: Protect yourself
There is a saying among Navy SEALs that “the only easy day was yesterday.” Translation: the challenges of yesterday are behind you, while the ones yet to test your mettle are upon you.
This is the reality Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis faces each day he wakes, and one he’ll face again when the sun rises tomorrow.
Yet unlike the threat of hurricanes that visit Florida with unnerving frequency, a global pandemic has given this Floridian an opportunity to beat an existential threat with the force of foresight and fortitude … to prove the kind of leadership you must earn instead of proclaim.
The governor’s job is tough, and often thankless. The road ahead is blurry; there is no clear map. This means the right path lies more in leadership and hope than making all the right turns. No one truly knows what is “right.”
DeSantis served in the U.S. Navy Reserve, then as the legal advisor to the SEAL Commander Special Operations Task Force in Iraq. Although I ran against him for governor in 2018, I sincerely thank him for his military service and his commitment to public service as well.
Yet it’s time he remembered a rule he once lived by, which could ensure more Floridians survive in the months ahead. As a legal advisor for the SEALs, I am confident DeSantis would always personally wear a combat helmet outside a secured U.S. base there, as would the troops that served beside him.
It was for their safety and wellbeing.
While we are now at war with COVID-19, a virus that is neither Republican nor Democrat, where our “civilian helmets” are made of cloth, not Kevlar, “masks” which cover our mouths and not our heads. From the CDC to every major health official worth their salt, all agree they’re our best defense today against a disease infecting more and killing more.
The soldiers fighting alongside the governor this time are not SEALs, but fellow Floridians who want to beat this enemy so they can safely return to their normal lives and families.
By every measure, the battle is raging within Florida, where citizens (young and old) are being infected in record numbers. I implore Gov. DeSantis to mandate the wearing of our combat helmets (i.e., masks) during this war to reduce the number of injuries and casualties.
The CDC states very clearly that face coverings help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the disease, especially in public settings. While the governor and I disagree on many political issues, I know we both share a desire to keep Floridians as safe as possible.
Every governor in America have had tough choices to make. That’s both the responsibility and burden of leadership. Yet any original emergency plan, like not mandating that masks be worn in public, must flex with changing circumstance or surrender to failure.
As they say in the Navy SEALs: “No plan survives first contact with the enemy.”
Governor, it’s time to put on our masks and beat this virus together!