Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis asserted that his state “boomed” at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic because he did the opposite of what former President Donald Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci were calling for.
In an appearance on Fox News on Friday, DeSantis pushed back on Trump’s recent criticism of the Sunshine State’s Republican governor for his pandemic response. For example, Trump has claimed that DeSantis shut down Florida and that its COVID fatality rate was among the worst in the country.
DeSantis agreed that in the very early days of the pandemic, Florida was following federal recommendations. But, he added, as more data became available, Florida “chart(ed) a separate course,” said DeSantis.
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“We did that, and clearly, Florida boomed as a result,” the governor said.
DeSantis then pointed out that Trump, as late as October 2020, was running re-election ads “bragging” about his actions being endorsed by Fauci.
He also noted that Trump gave Fauci a presidential commendation on his last day in the White House.
“Looking forward, we need accountability for what went wrong, because those people in positions of authority … they lied about lockdowns, school closures, mask mandates,” DeSantis argued.
“They were wrong. It did a lot of damage around this country.”
Continuing, DeSantis said, “We need a reckoning so that this never happens to our country again. … We’ve got to clear house in these medical bureaucracies. We need evidence-based medicine, not narrative-based policies.”
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In recent days, DeSantis has reminded voters that both Trump and Fauci denounced him for reopening the state too soon.
Meanwhile, Trump this week said that Fauci was not a “big player” during his time in office.
“He wasn’t a big player in my administration,” Trump told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.
“Dr. Fauci became a big player in the administration of [President Joe] Biden. He’s a very big player in Biden’s administration.”
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