Detroiters for and against masks, say Florida Gov. DeSantis' 'Covid theater' comments went too far

Folks in Ferndale are weighing in on Florida Governors Ron DeSantis' controversial comments about masks. Recently he told college students during a visit that they didn't work and called them "theater."

Here in downtown several businesses still have signs up saying they require customers to wear masks— even though there are no more recommendations.

FOX 2 caught up with Metro Detroiters on both sides— and while they have different opinions— they agree DeSantis went too far.

"You do not have to wear those masks, I mean please take them off," he barked to a group of masked up students before a press conference for cyber security education.

"It’s not doing anything. We have to stop all this Covid theater," he said. "If you want to wear it, fine. But this is ridiculous."

Makeup artist Michelle Michalak disagreed with the remarks.

"I think it’s really disrespectful to people that have been working so hard to stay safe and wear masks make masks and try to pull together to get through this," she said.

Michalak works at Flip — a salon in Ferndale asking staff and visitors to wear masks. While the state recently lifted indoor mask recommendations, Michalak says all the employees feel more comfortable masking up. She says their approach works— so far no one has gotten COVID-19.

"Luckily we’ve all been safe and we haven’t had any problems," she said. "We can’t take time off of work and get paid for it, so we need to keep these masks on as long as we feel safe to before taking them off."

Others like Cardi Jefferson from Detroit, have a different opinion.

"The reason I backed off on wearing a mask - I couldn’t breathe," he said. "To me the mandate was a little bit overboard."

Jefferson questions how much of a difference masks make.

"In my opinion I don't think it did a lot," he said. "But like I said, I understand people needed to feel safe. Since the vaccines were out, people took that, but I was in the line of, I’ll just roll with the punches."

While Jefferson has decided to back off on wearing a mask, he believes everyone should decide for themselves. As for Gov. DeSantis, Jefferson thinks he went too far.

"People that hold office should be more accountable for the people," he said. "Not for self-interest or self-motivation and clearly that guy was self-motivated."

Michelle Michalak

Michelle Michalak

FOX 2 reached out to the Florida governor's office but have not received a response.