- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Joy Behar wants to know whether Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis can be accused of “negligent homicide” for his rejection of COVID-19 mask mandates.

The co-host of ABC’s “The View” exploded on the Republican’s continued opposition to government mandates regarding the contagion while blaming him for hospitalized children.

“This sociopath, this dangerous criminal, he tells schools that they will rescind funding if they insist upon a mask mandate,” Ms. Behar said Tuesday. “So now the Broward County school board says you don’t have to wear a mask. I mean, what is he doing? What is he doing?”

Ms. Behar then framed Florida’s resistance to COVID-19 mask mandates as a result of “white supremacist” thought.

“He’s risking the lives of children, children’s parents, their grandparents — anyone they may come in contact with so that he can appeal to his white supremacist base and continue in his career and get re-elected? I don’t know,” Ms. Behar continued. 

The comedian then asked co-host Sunny Hostin about the possibility of criminal charges being filed against the governor.

“Maybe you know whether this is negligent homicide,” Ms. Behar said. “That’s what I call it.”

“I think it’s really difficult to hold public officials accountable for things like that,” replied Ms. Hostin, a lawyer and legal analyst. “A lot of times you have qualified immunity in many instances.”

But, Ms. Hostin added, “I do have to agree that Gov. DeSantis is somewhat of a menace when it comes to public health. I think that Republicans have decided this is a hill they want to die on. I think that this is where the party is headed, and it doesn’t really make sense because … many of the people that aren’t vaccinated are Republicans, are conservatives, are evangelicals. That is their base, so why do you want to kill off your base? It really doesn’t make sense. This argument about freedom also doesn’t make sense. … You don’t have the freedom to put my life at risk.”

Mr. DeSantis, however, says the power to require a child to wear a mask should reside with the parents. 

“Forcing kids to wear masks is bad policy,” he tweeted on July 28. “Parents are best equipped to decide whether they want their kids to wear a mask in school. Neither bureaucrats in Washington nor local authorities should be able to override the decision of the parents.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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