On his top-rated talk radio program Thursday, Rush Limbaugh kicked off a segment by announcing a rare honor bestowed by the “EIB Limbaugh Institute”: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is now officially “the closest that we’ve ever had to a graduate” of his prestigious institute, Limbaugh said. The reason the Republican governor has been awarded the honor, the host explained, is his thorough throttling of the media for their partisan coverage of his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I want to start with a graduate, or the closest that we’ve ever had to a graduate, of the EIB Limbaugh Institute, and that would be Florida Governor Ron DeSantis,” Rush announced at the start of the segment. “As you know, there are no graduates from the Limbaugh Institute because the learning never stops. We don’t issue degrees here because there never is a time where we have proclaimed that our students have learned it all. Because our curriculum is constantly expanding. There is no set curriculum here.”
“But Governor DeSantis has asked in the past for an honorary degree, and Governor DeSantis has said that if said honorary degree were ever bestowed, that he would frame it, hang it proudly on the wall in his gubernatorial office,” Rush continued. “And if anybody has come close to earning an honorary degree from the Limbaugh Institute, it is the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis. He has clearly had enough of the Drive-By Media. After months of being slammed by fake news and by the gloom and doom casualty forecasts over his handling of the coronavirus, the governor called them out.”
During Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to the state on Wednesday, DeSantis called out the media over its unfair criticism of his administration and false predictions about how the pandemic would play out in his state. After hammering the media for attempting to make the firing of an analyst for the Florida Department of Health into some sort of COVID-19 cover-up — when, DeSantis explained, the fired employee is “under active criminal charges in the state of Florida” and being charged “with cyber-stalking and cyber-sexual harassment” — he pointed to Florida’s success in combatting the virus:
DeSantis: Our data is available; our data is transparent. In fact, Dr. [Deborah] 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 is that because you got a lot of people in your profession who waxed poetically for weeks and weeks about how Florida was going to be just like New York. “Wait two weeks, Florida’s going to be next!” “Just like Italy. Wait two weeks!”
Well, hell, we’re eight weeks away from that, and it hasn’t happened. Not only do we have a lower death rate — well, we have way lower deaths generally — we have a lower death rate than the Acela corridor, D.C., everyone up there. We have a lower rate than the Midwest: Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio. But even in our region: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida has the lower death rate, and I was the number one landing spot from tens of thousands of people leaving the number one hot zone in the world to come to my state.
So we’ve succeeded, and I think that people just don’t want to recognize it because it challenges their narrative; it challenges their assumption, so they gotta try to find a bogeyman; maybe its that there are black helicopters circling the Department of Health. If you believe that, I got a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.
The media’s anti-DeSantis narrative, Limbaugh suggested, was part of an attempt to cover for the “abject failure” of Cuomo, who the media held up in the height of the crisis as an alternative to Trump.
“Governor DeSantis was said to be presiding over a circumstance in Florida that was gonna be so much worse than New York,” said Limbaugh, but in the end, “the predictions that Florida would be just like New York never materialized.”
“[D]espite the massive numbers of people escaping to Florida — escaping the infected Northeast — Florida did better than all the others,” said Rush. “New York has over 350,000 coronavirus cases compared to under 50,000 cases in Florida — and 29,000 of those in Florida are in the southeastern counties of the state. There have been about 2,000 deaths in Florida, but that’s less than one-tenth the 23,000 deaths in New York. And yet the Drive-By Media puts Andrew Cuomo up on this pedestal and touts him as great and compassionate and concerned and qualified to replace Plugs as the Democrat presidential nominee, and they still try to cast DeSantis as a right-wing kook conspiracy theorist who can’t think or open his mouth without talking to Donald Trump first — and he’s finally had it.”
“The media has been doing two things: Lying in wait, hoping Florida falls apart because he’s a Republican,” Limbaugh concluded. “And then, when Florida becomes a success story, they do not say a word. They do not report it, and yet keep touting the great successes of this waste of a governor in New Jersey and then Cuomo in New York and what’s going on in Michigan. It’s just absurd. Even Rich Lowry at National Review has a piece, ‘Where Does Ron DeSantis Go to Get His Apology?‘ Fat chance.”
As he noted, Limbaugh is not the only one to draw attention to the glaring double standard applied to DeSantis versus Democratic governors, particularly New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose state quickly become the epicenter of the pandemic and whose handling of the crisis, along with Democratic NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, has been revealed, including belatedly by The New York Times, to have massively inflamed the situation.
Transcript via RushLimbaugh.com
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