DeSantis Responds to Trump Regarding Florida’s COVID Record Assertions

The Republican governor of Florida challenged statements made by a rival in the presidential campaign regarding the state’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an interview with Megyn Kelly on her YouTube channel, former President Donald Trump asserted that Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican from Florida, had praised Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Trump also alleged that Governor DeSantis had implemented a month-long shutdown in Florida, which involved the closure of beaches, roads, and hospitals.

“I was not a big fan of Fauci,” Trump told Ms. Kelly, which he said contrasted with DeSantis.

“If you look at Ron DeSanctimonious, he was — this guy said the greatest things,” Trump added. “I can give you articles that ‘Fauci’s great, he’s wonderful, we love him. We don’t do anything without Fauci’.”

The 45th president also mentioned that DeSantis had been praising Dr. Fauci for several months.

Kelly noted that DeSantis didn’t consistently adhere to Fauci’s guidance, and his state’s shutdown lasted only approximately one month.

“Oh, he shut it down a lot longer,” responded Trump. “He shut down the beaches. He shut down the roads. He shut down a hospital. He also had long lines of people ‘getting the jab,’ as he called it.”

“The guy tried to change history in Florida.”

The governor of Florida contested the former president’s statements in an interview conducted by Steve Deace.

DeSantis discussed Trump’s assertions during a Thursday interview with Steve Deace, the host of the Blaze Podcast.

“I think it’s important to say that that is different from what Donald Trump used to say,” DeSantis said, recalling Trump’s previous praise for Florida’s approach to the pandemic.

“Now, because I’m a threat to him, that’s why he’s now changing his tune,” he added. “But some of the things he’s saying are just bold faced lies.”

Governor DeSantis underscored that Florida never enforced mandates for mRNA COVID vaccines and highlighted that he had called a special session of the Florida legislature to prohibit such mandates.

In addition, he refuted Trump’s statement about his fondness for Fauci. In contrast, DeSantis pointed out that he had sold campaign merchandise critiquing Fauci, featuring the slogan, “Don’t Fauci My Florida.”

“I fought against Fauci when he was popular,” declared DeSantis. “It’s easy for Republicans to ding him now because he’s unpopular with the broader electorate.”

In the same conversation, DeSantis addressed Trump’s comments about awarding Fauci a Presidential Commendation, humorously asking, “Was that the immaculate commendation that just happened to happen?”