TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — In a direct rebuke of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention policies on COVID-19, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his newly-confirmed state Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo announced changes to state pandemic policies.

In an announcement titled “Governor Ron DeSantis and Surgeon General Dr. Joe Ladapo Buck CDC with New Official State Guidance,” the governor and surgeon general said the state would be “pushing back on unscientific corporate masking” policies, as well as “reducing isolation for all Floridians.”

Specifically, the announcement mentioned isolation for school and day care attendees, and recommended physicians “exercise their individual clinical judgement and expertise” when making recommendations on COVID-19 treatments. The state is encouraging doctors to focus on patients’ needs and preferences.

The announcement also focused on letting health care professionals follow their own paths, rather than stick to federal guidance. The statement highlighted oft-repeated criticism of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“People want to live freely in Florida without corporate masking creating a two-tier society and without overbearing isolation for children,” DeSantis said in the statement. “We are empowering health care practitioners to follow science, not Fauci’s status quo.”

The list of the state’s new guidelines can be found online, but the announcement from the governor’s office included the following changes to public health updates in Florida:

  • Pushing back against corporate masking for employees
  • Advising health care practitioners and facilities to reevaluate status quo protocols in favor of scientifically based treatment options to benefit patients
  • Updating day care guidance to limit child isolation to five days
  • Updating the school rule to limit student isolation to five days
  • Reducing isolation for Floridians with COVID to five days

The state’s online version of the guidelines is explicitly titled “Buck the CDC.”

“The State of Florida has widespread natural and vaccine-induced immunity,” Ladapo said in the announcement. “Evidence suggests that most secondary transmission occurs early on. Our state will continue to make decisions for Floridians rooted in sound science, not fear, whether they are working or in school.”

The new guidance for health care practitioners and facilities was also published online by the Florida Dept. of Health, along with the suggested changes to corporate masking policies, child isolation from day care, student isolation from school settings and general quarantine guidance. A video version of the announcement was released on Rumble, along with the policies.