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EXCLUSIVE: DeSantis office pushes back against smear from MSNBC host

A spokesperson for the Florida governor countered claims made by MSNBC host Joy Reid after Reid falsely suggested DeSantis was only interested in bringing unvaccinated police officers to the state.

EXCLUSIVE: DeSantis office pushes back against smear from MSNBC host
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee
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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is pushing back on claims by MSNBC host Joy Reid who called DeSantis the “absolute worst” for inviting police officers facing termination over vaccine mandates and public hostility across the country to work in Florida.

In a statement to Rebel News on Monday, the governor’s office refuted the MSNBC host's comments.

As part of her daily show, Reid brought attention to DeSantis’ plan, claiming that the governor “is now actually paying to bring deadly COVID into his state.”

“Come to me, COVID,” quipped Reid, who voiced a parody of a recruitment commercial that offered police officers from other states the chance to murder Florida’s senior citizen population.

Are you big on ordering people to comply, but you hate complying with health mandates yourself? Do you dream of arresting people’s ability to breathe while you arrest them? Well, pack up your potentially infectious self, your badge, and your gun, and come on down to Florida. Take this taxpayer bonus money and enjoy constant interactions with vulnerable senior citizens you can breathe on. Every breakthrough case and ICU admission is the virus of freedom spreading. And don’t forget your sunscreen.

Reid mischaracterized DeSantis’ position, claiming that he specifically targeted unvaccinated police officers in his proposal. Reid claims that the governor then lied about it.

“Of course, today, because DeSantis has nothing if not consistent, he denied recruiting unvaccinated police, despite literally saying this on Fox News last night,” Reid claimed, following it up with a clip of DeSantis’ appearance on Fox News.

In the clip, DeSantis said, “In Florida, our policy is very clear: We’re going to have a special session, and we’re going to say, ‘Nobody should lose their jobs based off these injections.’”

As the quote itself suggests, DeSantis says nothing about recruiting unvaccinated or even vaccinated police officers.

As reported by Rebel News last week, the Florida governor invited law enforcement officers to work in the Sunshine State in one of its many sheriffs’ departments.

Reid’s attacks on the Florida governor have persisted for months.

In January, Reid shared a claim by “Grim Reaper” attorney Daniel Uhlfelder suggesting that DeSantis personally benefited from setting up vaccine injection sites at Publix outlets in Florida.

“Governor DeSantis prioritized senior citizens from the very beginning of the vaccine rollout. He was harshly criticized by [the] media for doing so,” said the governor’s spokesperson Christina Pushaw.

“The state of Florida partnered with Publix back in January, in part because more than 90 per cent of seniors in Florida live less than two miles from a Publix, so it would be a convenient location for seniors to get the vaccine. Joy Reid's reaction to the governor's efforts to vaccinate seniors was to baselessly accuse him of corruption,” she said.

DeSantis’ spokesperson confirmed to Rebel News that the governor’s offer to bring in veteran law enforcement officers to the state has nothing to do with vaccination status.

I pointed out that I was under the impression the offer was open to all police officers facing termination for rejecting such mandates, as well as officers who face increasing hostility from senior leadership in cities like Seattle and Minneapolis, where the “Defund the Police” movement has taken hold.

“You are correct about the law enforcement recruitment initiative,” said Pushaw.

“It applies to all police officers, regardless of vaccination status, who are hired in Florida from out-of-state. In fact, Governor DeSantis announced the $5,000 bonus proposal for out-of-state law enforcement back in August, before any police departments in the country were talking about vaccine mandates. His announcement did not include any mention of vaccination status.”

“When the bonus comes into effect, all law enforcement officers newly hired in Florida will be eligible, regardless of whether or not they are vaccinated,” the governor’s office clarified. “State and local law enforcement agencies in Florida do not ask for the vaccination status of their employees or job applicants.”

“The state legislature would need to pass legislation and appropriate funding for these new law enforcement recruitment initiatives,” added Pushaw. “The expectation is that the state legislature would consider and implement these proposals during the next regular legislative session, which starts in January.”

Pushaw asked: “If the vaccines work, and the vast majority of seniors in Florida are vaccinated (they are), then why would hiring police officers who aren't vaccinated endanger vaccinated seniors in any way?”

“Not to mention, fully vaccinated people still get and spread COVID (See: Psaki), so vaccine mandates for police officers aren't even going to stop the spread in states that enact that tyrannical policy,” she said.

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  • By Ezra Levant

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