News

‘Bold Faced Lies’: DeSantis Hits Back At Trump Over His Claims About Florida’s COVID Record

   DailyWire.com
DES MOINES, IA - JULY 28: Republican candidate for president Governor Ron DeSantis speaks during the Republican Party of Iowa 2023 Lincoln Dinner at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa, Friday, July 28, 2023.
Rebecca S. Gratz for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis hit back at former President Donald Trump in response to claims that Trump made about how DeSantis handled COVID as the governor of Florida.

During an interview this week with Megyn Kelly, the former president claimed that he was “not a big fan of [Dr. Anthony] Fauci,” but that DeSantis “said the greatest things” about Fauci and “love[d] him.”

“I was not a big fan of Fauci,” said Trump. “If you look at Ron DeSanctimonious, he was — this guy said the greatest things [about Fauci]. I can give you articles that ‘Fauci’s great, he’s wonderful, we love him. We don’t do anything without Fauci.’ This went on for months.”

“But he didn’t listen to Fauci,” Kelly noted.

Trump responded by claiming that DeSantis “100%” did listen to Fauci and that “he shut down Florida.” When Kelly interjected that he did so only “for a month,” the former president responded, “Oh, he shut it down a lot longer. 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. ‘Let’s all go get the jab.’ The guy tried to change history in Florida.” (exchange starts 2:25 mark)

DeSantis responded to Trump’s claims during an interview Thursday with Steve Deace when Deace brought up the former president’s remarks.

“I think it’s important to say that that is different from what Donald Trump used to say,” DeSantis noted. “I mean, he used to praise Florida for having been open. He used to say I was one of the country’s great governors. He said we handled COVID correctly and brilliantly. So he used to say that — he was on record, always saying that. Now, because I’m a threat to him, that’s why he’s now changing his tune.”

“But some of the things he’s saying are just bold faced lies,” he continued. “We never mandated mNRA COVID shots. In fact, I called a special session of the Florida legislature to prevent any mandates in the state. And not just by the state government or local government, we provided protections for employees at private businesses, which a lot of establishment Republicans basically were saying businesses should be able to do whatever they want.”

Deace noted that South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem was one of the “establishment Republicans” who DeSantis was talking about who sided with allowing businesses to mandate vaccines.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE DAILY WIRE APP

“Kristi Noem told her own constituents, in July of 2021, that if you don’t want to work for a company with a vaccine mandate, just go get another job,” Deace said. “She said that publicly.”

“And that’s, so you’re basically saying, your job or the jab, you have to make a choice on that,” DeSantis said. “So we fought against that. Clearly, Florida led the way in being open, much to the attacks that I used to suffer from — and a lot of the attacks that I suffered from through the balance of 2020 was the media in Florida leveraging the Trump White House against me and saying, ‘Oh, the governor isn’t following the Trump White House directives. He has restaurants open; he has schools open; he has all that stuff.’ So they really used that White House task force as a cudgel to try to beat me over the head to try to portray me as being reckless because we had opened the state, and we were doing all that. So that’s just the reality.”

DeSantis also addressed the claim that he “loved” Fauci, saying, contrary to Trump’s claims, his disdain for Fauci was so high that he actually sold campaign merchandise attacking Fauci that said, “Don’t Fauci My Florida.”

“I mean, this has been a rallying cry that we stood up to Fauci in Florida, the Free State of Florida would not have been what we are, were it not for standing up to Fauci,” he said, adding, “I fought against Fauci when he was popular. It’s easy for Republicans to ding him now because he’s unpopular with the broader electorate. Back then, Donald Trump used to cite Fauci’s poll numbers as a reason why Fauci was somebody that should be listened to. He said, ‘Fauci has got these great poll numbers, but we’re listening to Fauci, why don’t we have the same poll numbers?’ And his campaign for reelection, in October of 2020, they were running videos where Fauci is bragging that Donald Trump did everything I told him to do. They were putting that out as a positive message for their candidate. And then, of course, he did give Fauci a presidential commendation his last day in office.”

DeSantis went on to address a clip from Trump’s interview with Kelly in which he said he had no idea who gave Fauci the Presidential Commendation. “Was that the immaculate commendation that just happened to happen?” DeSantis joked. “It said, ‘Donald Trump awards Fauci this commendation.’ So I thought it was really pathetic to sit there and listen to that drivel. It is totally false. And you know what?”

DeSantis then called out people in conservative media who “know all that’s false,” but who might be afraid to call Trump out for a variety of reasons. “We’ll see how many of them are willing to step up to the plate and call a spade a spade,” DeSantis said.

Got a tip worth investigating?

Your information could be the missing piece to an important story. Submit your tip today and make a difference.

Submit Tip
The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ‘Bold Faced Lies’: DeSantis Hits Back At Trump Over His Claims About Florida’s COVID Record