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Thread: Here’s How The Media Ripped DeSantis While Praising Cuomo On COVID Response
DeSantis: Joe Raedle/Getty Images Cuomo: Scott Heins/Getty Images

In a thread posted on social media this week, public affairs consultant and former Republican congressional staffer Drew Holden highlighted the notably unbalanced way in which legacy media outlets have covered the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic by Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, and New York’s Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo. As the thread demonstrates, the media repeatedly criticized DeSantis for his more restrained response to the pandemic, while his Democratic counterpart was frequently lionized. Making the uneven coverage even more “egregious,” Holden argues, is that “by the most critical metric, deaths per capita, DeSantis has outperformed Cuomo enormously,” with New York suffering what Holden labels “one of the most disastrous crisis responses in US history.”

While the dramatic difference in coverage of DeSantis and Cuomo regarding their actions vis-a-vis the coronavirus has been noticed by conservatives for months, Holden compiled a lengthy Twitter thread this week detailing even more fully how pervasive the attacks on DeSantis and praise for Cuomo have been from so-called “mainstream” outlets such as CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, MSNBC, and leftist outlets such as Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, and Salon, and even foreign outlets like the BBC and The Guardian.

Holden began by calling DeSantis the “Man of the Year” for his response to the coronavirus crisis, then followed with numerous examples of how the media has attempted to slant the public’s perspective against DeSantis but in favor of Cuomo:

He cited statistics showing the results of how each governor handled the crisis:

Holden pointed out how the media tried to imply DeSantis did not care about the situation as much as Cuomo:

On Wednesday, DeSantis drew applause from elderly people in attendance as he told the press he had yet to be vaccinated for the novel coronavirus since he is young and healthy while the elderly had not all gotten vaccinations yet.

When asked, “Have you been vaccinated,” DeSantis replied, “What I’ve said is, I’m willing to take it, but I am not the priority; they’re the priority,” gesturing to the elderly around him. “I’m under 45. And so, people under 45 are not gonna be first in line for this. When it’s my turn, I will take it, but this is who I want to be vaccinated: I want my parents, our grandparents to be able to get it. Granted, I’m an elected official, but whoop-de-do. At the end of the day, let’s focus where the risk is.”

On December 16, speaking at Okeechobee Steakhouse in West Palm Beach, Florida, DeSantis asserted that restaurants would stay open in Florida. “We just want to send a message: Some may want to shut you down; we want to pull you up,” he said. “We’ve got your back.”

DeSantis began, “We’re happy to be here at Okeechobee Steakhouse to really send a message that at a time when folks in our service industries, particularly restaurants, lodging, and hospitality, have kind of taken it on the chin, particularly in other states, where they’ve been completely shut down. We just want to send a message: Some may want to shut you down; we want to pull you up. We’ve got your back.”

“If you’re somebody who’s a waitress or a cook or you’re a family-owned business, you’re an important part of our state,” he continued. “You’re working folks, who are working hard to make a living; you have every right to do that. You can take it to the bank in the state of Florida; you’re going to have that right defended by the governor.”

DeSantis turned to some data: “You know, there’s a lot of talk when it comes to COVID about the kind of infections, and tracing and everything, and at the beginning of this, restaurants in particular were singled out as kind of like, this is a place that’s really problematic. Most of the contact tracing that’s been done has restaurants as very low in terms of where these infections can be traced to. New York just did their big one and put it out I think yesterday or the day before, and they had 1.4% of infections traced to restaurants and bars.”

“So it doesn’t mean it can’t happen here, but I think we have to understand the vast, vast majority of infections are occurring in people’s homes, particularly if you have people getting together,” he surmised. “So closing a restaurant for indoor dining is going to lead to more people doing that in private homes, anyway.”

DeSantis then championed the rights of citizens to make their own, best-informed decisions: “But here’s the thing: even if you think that it’s more than 1.4%, the appropriate response to that is to inform people about situations where you may have a higher risk, not to shut down. Let individuals make decisions about what they’re comfortable doing. I can tell you, we’ve worked with these folks across Florida, and I know Okeechobee’s no different: they put every effort to creating a safe environment and a healthy environment. They’re not going to get customers unless they do that, and I know that that’s what they’ve done here at Okeechobee Steakhouse.”

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