Ahead of the COVID-19 special legislative session, Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis spoke in the city of Zephyrhills about measures being taken to halt mandates in the state.

The Governor railed against the COVID response in the United States, after someone in the audience asked about how it all looks in the eyes of school kids.

"I think the smiles matter and I think particularly the young kids… you will actually have certain school districts that will say 'we are relieving mask mandates for High Schoolers, but we’re keeping them on those elementary…' First of all I don’t think you should have a mandate period. But the elementary are the ones that need to be able to see the interaction more than anything because they’re learning to speak and read and do all that stuff, and it’s absolutely critical. And don’t tell me that it doesn’t make a difference."

The media has recently targeted school children with a vaccine awareness campaign through a CNN special with Sesame Street characters. Brevard Public Schools lifted their mask mandate last month shortly after it was highlighted how a young girl with Down syndrome had a mask forcibly attached to her face by school staff for a period of weeks.

In the next portion, Desantis alluded to how teacher union President Randi Weingarten was spotted maskless in Puerto Rico.

"Heck this head of the teacher’s union that tried to keep the schools closed all of last year, she was found maskless, and she said ‘I took it off because it was too hard to understand each other wearing the mask.’ Well how do you think these school children have felt for the last year?...."

The crowd at the conference started clapping. Weingarten also admitted to the appearance of a double standard.

Finally the Florida Governor talked about the need to have a more frank discussion about COVID vaccines and being allowed to talk about side effects and downsides.

"But I think your point about…. you’ve had side effects… and when we would give the vaccines we used to have the state sites that we’d observe people, to see wherever there was reaction. And you know most people didn’t have that, but you know some people got sick, some people had different things…. that’s anything you put in, there’s always a risk for that. And so what our surgeon general has said is -- he wants to make sure that that is something that people are able to report without fear because there’s almost a thing that’s if you’ve ever say anything negative, that somehow people are going to criticize ya, the media is going to criticize ya or whatever… people need the facts. They need to have the truth about all this."

By that, DeSantis stressed the need for a nuanced understanding of everything. DeSantis faced Twitter ideologues in early October who tried framing COVID vaccines as a "one or the other" approach alongside antibody treatment.

The Florida Governor led the charge when it came to the monoclonal antibody treatment solution for COVID. In September he had to contend with and overcome the Biden administration’s decision to take over the supply chain for one of those products.

Also at the presser, DeSantis announced that he has officially filed to run for re-election as Florida's governor.