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Media Wrong Again: No, DeSantis Did Not Have An Activist Removed From Presser Over Criticism. Here Are The Facts.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a press conference at LifeScience Logistics to urge the Biden administration to approve Florida's plan to import prescription drugs from Canada, thereby saving Floridians an estimated $100 million annually on drug costs.
Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The establishment media on Tuesday ran with another disparaging narrative targeting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that turned out to be false, claiming the Republican had a “community activist” arrested and removed from a news conference over criticism of the governor.

That’s not what happened.

A man was arrested for trespassing after he refused to leave a closed news conference about lifesaving monoclonal antibody treatment for only credentialed media by Jacksonville police — not at the behest of DeSantis’ team or the governor, who was not even there at the time of the incident.

Before the news conference was set to begin on Tuesday, a man named Ben Frazier and other left-wing protesters were asked to leave the location, since the presser was opened to credentialed media only and not the public, as per usual.

In video of the incident, staffers ask Frazier to leave so the news conference can start, telling the man they would like to “connect” another time. Frazier, though, would not leave and eventually chanted, “When it comes to public welfare, this governor does not care.”

Notably, Gov. DeSantis was not involved in asking Frazier to leave. In fact, he was not even at the location of the presser at the time of the incident, a source confirmed to The Daily Wire.

As he is repeatedly being asked to leave, Jacksonville police arrive on scene. An officer asks a DeSantis staffer about the situation. “Yes, we are asking everyone who is not credentialed press to leave,” she responds.

Everyone is escorted out of the room and Frazier is handcuffed. The DeSantis staffer can be heard on video emphasizing that she has asked “all of the protesters” to leave since the event was only for credentialed media. “Why am I the only one being handcuffed,” Frazier is heard saying.

“Today’s press conference in Jacksonville was about monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19. These treatments have saved thousands of lives in Florida,” DeSantis spokeswoman Christina Pushaw said in a statement sent to The Daily Wire. “They have the potential to prevent many more hospitalizations and deaths — if people are aware of the importance of early treatment, understand their risk profile, and know how to access care for themselves and loved ones. This should be the story.”

The spokeswoman said it was “shameful” for protesters to derail officials from providing the lifesaving information to citizens and noted that Frazier “has disrupted official proceedings several times before.”

It is shameful that protesters would attempt to disrupt state officials and prevent them from conveying potentially life-saving information to the public during a pandemic,” she said.

“The protester detained by Jacksonville police for trespassing this morning is not a member of the press. Mr. Frazier is an activist who has disrupted official proceedings several times before, including a State Board of Education meeting and a City Council meeting that was forced to adjourn early due to his disruptive behavior,” the statement continued.

“Every citizen has the right to protest in public places – but not to trespass in a secured facility in order to disrupt a press briefing and prevent essential information from being conveyed to the public,” Pushaw emphasized. “If Mr. Frazier had attempted to enter a White House press briefing to ‘protest peaceably’ in front of President Biden, Mr. Frazier would likewise have been removed and detained, as would be appropriate.”

“The only difference would be the liberal media’s reaction, or lack thereof,” the spokeswoman closed.

The media and Democrats, of course, ran with the implication that DeSantis (who was not even there) had Frazier, hailed as a hero, arrested and booted for calling the governor the “enemy of the people” and other criticism. Here’s a glimpse:

The Independent: “Ron DeSantis has activists including disabled man arrested for quizzing him on Covid: ‘The governor is afraid to meet with the people’”

The Daily Beast: “Activist Handcuffed at DeSantis Presser After Calling Guv an ‘Enemy of the People’”

The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Media Wrong Again: No, DeSantis Did Not Have An Activist Removed From Presser Over Criticism. Here Are The Facts.