DeSantis defends Florida’s handling of virus, slams media for partisan bias

DeSantis defends Florida’s handling of virus, slams media for partisan bias
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee
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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke up about the success of his state’s policies in limiting the use of lockdowns to fight the spread of the coronavirus — a policy that runs contrary to efforts in heavily locked-down states like New York and California, whose case figures are dire in comparison to the Sunshine State.

In an interview on Sunday, DeSantis said that while other states focused on locking people down, his administration has been focused on lifting people up. The governor also criticized the media’s efforts to vilify his handling of the pandemic, pointing out that “people vote with their feet, and they are flooding into the state.” 

Florida has become an attractive location for residents of other states who have struggled to get access to coronavirus vaccines. 

“Well, you look around the country, and they still are debating whether schools should be open. We’ve had schools open the whole year, they talk about whether businesses should be open, every business in Florida has a right to operate,” DeSantis said. 

“They talk about all these people unemployed in Florida, every single person has a right to earn a living. And our unemployment rate is lower than the national average,” he added. “Even though we’re so tourism-dependent, that market hasn’t recovered at all. Our COVID though, we have less COVID mortality per capita than the national average 25 states or higher. So the lockdowns don’t work on their own, but they cause catastrophic damage to society. So we’ve been able to do as other states have tried to lock people down, we’ve tried to lift people up.”

“And I’ll tell you, every time I go out, someone will come up to me and say, my kid wasn’t doing well, thank you for getting them back in school or my business would have failed, thank you for saving us or I would have lost my job,” DeSantis continued. “Those effects are going to make this state so strong going forward. And I think had we tried a different course that has not worked in other places, I think it takes years and years to be able to recover from the damage.”

Asked what he thought of the media’s lionization of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, DeSantis said that it was evidence of the media’s partisan bias. Cuomo received an Emmy Award for his efforts in handling the coronavirus, despite presiding over the state with the highest number of COVID-19-related deaths in the United States.

“Well, look, they have a partisan agenda. And I think it was an election year, they did not want the president to carry Florida,” DeSantis said. “I think the fact that the President endorsed me when I ran for governor, you know, means that they want to do that. So they had a narrative. And their narrative is whatever that helps them advance their political, it doesn’t matter about the facts. They don’t care about the facts. In fact, they will ignore facts that are inconvenient for their narrative, and even concoct conspiracy theories as to why the facts aren’t doing it. So I think they’ve done a horrible job with what they’ve done.”

“But here’s the thing, people aren’t buying it,” he continued. “Because people vote with their feet, and they are flooding into this state, we have investment coming in. We have people buying homes like never before... just the fact that we have schools open, people are leaving in every corner of the state just because we have schools, we had sports, we’ve had sports going on the whole time, I have parents who have moved their kids to Florida because they didn’t want to miss football season, which they would have in some of these lockdown states. And so I think that there’s the narratives that some of the corporate elite media tried to sell, people don’t buy it. And this is a perfect example. Because if people bought their narratives, you’d have people leaving here to go to the states that are supposedly doing so well.”

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  • By Ezra Levant

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