Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and Donald Trump, each declared candidates within the 2024 presidential election, are swatting forwards and backwards at one another over how every dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although most critics of Trump’s actions throughout the pandemic have accused him of undermining public well being steering, downplaying the severity of the illness and pushing a litany of unverified therapies, DeSantis claimed throughout a podcast look Thursday that Trump had really delegated an excessive amount of energy to Dr. Anthony Fauci, then the director of the Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Illnesses, all through the pandemic.
“I feel he did nice for 3 years, however when he turned the nation over to Fauci in March of 2020, that destroyed thousands and thousands of individuals’s lives,” DeSantis mentioned of Trump on “The Glenn Beck Program,” a day after asserting his candidacy. “And in Florida, we had been one of many few that stood up, reduce in opposition to the grain, took incoming fireplace from media, forms, the left, even a variety of Republicans, had college open, preserved companies.”
In actuality, Florida had the third-highest variety of COVID-related deaths in 2021, in accordance with knowledge from the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. By way of deaths per capita, Florida ranked 18th among the many states for that 12 months. Usually, blue states had the decrease charges of deaths whereas crimson states had the very best, knowledge exhibits.
Trump additionally repeatedly ignored and undermined Fauci’s steering on the pandemic and loudly criticized him when the physician’s feedback on the well being disaster veered from Trump’s imaginative and prescient for reopening the financial system.
In a campaign video Thursday, Trump took his personal swipe at DeSantis, saying he was the one who poorly managed the COVID-19 response.
“When the Ron ‘DeSanctimonious’ details come out, you will note that he’s higher than most Democrat governors however very common, at finest, in comparison with Republican governors, who’ve completed a implausible job,” Trump mentioned in a marketing campaign video.
“Even [former New York Gov. Andrew] Cuomo did higher,” Trump hurled at DeSantis, referencing COVID-19 deaths in every state. “He shut down every part, together with the seashores.”
From a public well being perspective, neither Trump nor DeSantis did a superb job of defending folks throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and each put many individuals in danger for the sake of political acquire, critics and infectious illness consultants say.
DeSantis jabbed at Trump once more throughout an look on “The Ben Shapiro Present” on Friday.
“He responded [to the pandemic] by elevating Anthony Fauci and actually turning over the reins to Dr. Fauci, and I feel to horrible penalties for the USA.”
DeSantis asserted that he would have ousted Fauci had he been in Trump’s place throughout the first years of the pandemic.
“If I’m president — any individual like Fauci is within the authorities, I’ll convey them in and I’ll inform them two issues. You’re fired,” the Florida governor mentioned, though the president wouldn’t even have the facility to instantly fireplace somebody like Fauci, who was not a political appointee.
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