The media wanted Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis to fail. They wanted to tar and feather the Republican friend of President Trump, who beat out Andrew Gillum, Tallahassee’s former Democrat mayor, in the 2018 gubernatorial race. Gillum, who many compared to the second coming of Obama, was recently found naked on the floor of a hotel room with two other men when paramedics were called to the room after one of the men reportedly overdosed on meth. But Republican Governor Ron DeSantis wasn’t having it, and furthermore, he wasn’t about to sit back and allow the media to paint him as a villain for daring to rely on his own research and instincts when it came to handling the pandemic in his state.
National Review – A couple of months ago, the media, almost as one, decided that Governor Ron DeSantis was a public menace who was going to get Floridians killed with his lax response to the coronavirus crisis.
In an interview with National Review, DeSantis says he was surprised at “how knee-jerk” the hostile coverage was, but he “also knew that none of these people knew anything about Florida at all, so I didn’t care what they were saying.”
The conventional wisdom has begun to change about Florida, as the disaster so widely predicted hasn’t materialized. It’s worth delving into the state’s response — as described by DeSantis and a couple of members of his team — because it is the opposite of the media narrative of a Trump-friendly governor disregarding the facts to pursue a reckless agenda. DeSantis and his team have followed the science closely from the beginning, which is why they forged a nuanced approach, but one that focused like a laser on the most vulnerable population, those in nursing homes.
An irony of the national coverage of the coronavirus crisis is that at the same time DeSantis was being made into a villain, New York governor Andrew Cuomo was being elevated as a hero, even though the DeSantis approach to nursing homes was obviously superior to that of Cuomo. Florida went out of its way to get COVID-19-positive people out of nursing homes, while New York went out of its way to get them in, a policy now widely acknowledged to have been a debacle.
The media didn’t exactly have their eyes on the ball. “The day that the media had their first big freakout about Florida was March 15th,” DeSantis recalls, “which was, there were people on Clearwater Beach, and it was this big deal. That same day is when we signed the executive order to, one, ban visitation in the nursing homes, and two, ban the reintroduction of a COVID-positive patient back into a nursing home.”
DeSantis is bemused by the obsession with Florida’s beaches. When they opened in Jacksonville, it was a big national story, usually relayed with a dire tone. “Jacksonville has almost no COVID activity outside of a nursing-home context,” he says. “Their hospitalizations are down, ICU down since the beaches opened a month ago. And yet, nobody talks about it. It’s just like, ‘Okay, we just move on to the next target.’”
He was hesitant about sweeping lockdowns, given that there wasn’t much of a precedent for them. “One of the things that bothered me throughout this whole time was, I researched the 1918 pandemic, ’57, ’68, and there were some mitigation efforts done in May 1918, but never just a national-shutdown type deal,” he says. “There was really no observed experience about what the negative impacts would be on that.”
“So I was very concerned about things on that side as well,” he continues, “and I think that’s why I had a more nuanced and balanced approach than some of the other governors. Because you have some of these health officials saying, ‘You’ve got to do this. This is science,’ or whatever. But really, these were unchartered territories.”
This afternoon, when the media attempted to play gotcha with Governor Ron DeSantis, he let them know how he felt about their attempts to push a false narrative about his administration misrepresenting the number of COVID19 deaths in his state.
DeSantis blasted the dishonest media for attempting to play gotcha after he proved his winning strategy with his state, “Our data is available. Our data is transparent. In fact, Dr. Birx has talked multiple times about how Florida has the absolute best data. So any insinuation otherwise, is just typical partisan narrative trying to be spun. And part of the reason for that is you’ve got a lot of people in your profession who waxed poetically about how Florida was gonna be just like New York.”
DeSantis continued to slam the media for their desperate wish that his state would fail in their efforts to keep Floridians infected with COVID alive. He mocked them, saying, ‘Wait two weeks, Florida’s gonna be next,” and “Just like Italy—Florida’s gonna be next. ”
DeSantis went on to list all of the states in the north and midwest struggling with a high number of COVID related deaths, including the surrounding southern states where the fatality numbers are much higher than Florida’s. DeSantis also reminded the media about the tens of thousands of people who fled the “#1 hot zone in the world” [New York] to Florida to escape the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the blue state, where Governor Cuomo was allowing COVID19 patients and workers to infect nursing home patients.
HOLEEEEE CRAPOLA! 🔥
Way to go @GovRonDeSantis !
Shredding the bogus Dem & MSM narrative on #Covid19
It’s time to look at the TRUTH & reopen America!#OpenAmericaNOW
— Femme🇺🇸 (@RealBasedMAGA) May 20, 2020
You’ve gotta love Vice President Mike Pence’s reaction to Governor DeSantis’ takedown of the media. It’s almost like he’s used to seeing the press being dressed down for falsely pushing their far-left agenda.