By now, you’ve probably heard of Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL), who over the past year has been stealing headlines for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. In stark contrast to the heavy-handed lockdowns imposed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, California Governor Gavin Newsom, and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, to name a few, the Florida way under DeSantis seems to be way ahead of the nation in several aspects despite the constant criticisms from the liberal media. Democrats across the U.S. and even D.C. bureaucrats like Dr. Anthony Fauci have weighed in, casting doubt on Florida’s handling of the pandemic.
But that hasn’t stopped the three-term Congressman turned Trump-backed Governor of Florida. Ron DeSantis is one of the nation’s most popular governors. A May 2021 poll had DeSantis with an impressive 55% approval rating.
As his popularity sky-rockets both nationally and with Florida voters at home, the Governor’s ability to get under the skin of liberals and the liberal media, in particular, has become apparent. With his stock rising, DeSantis is starting to face a barrage of attacks. So he’s having a little fun hitting back in a number of ways.
At a recent press conference in West Palm Beach, FL, Governor DeSantis held a signing ceremony for an election integrity bill passed by the state legislature. Fox News was the only outlet that covered the ceremony on national T.V., irking the local liberal media in Democrat-heavy Palm Beach County who he chose not to notify in advance. The liberal media called the common sense Florida voting legislation every derogatory term in the book, but the bill is popular with Floridians.
The Florida Governor’s latest jab at the left’s COVID-19 media darling Dr. Anthony Fauci has the liberal media seething. Appearing on Fox News ‘Ingraham Angle’ with Laura Ingraham, Governor DeSantis said, “in Florida, we chose freedom over Fascism, and we’re much better off for doing that,” and rightly pointed out that Fauci’s “lockdown policies were not justified by the scientific data. He was somebody that fear mongered about schools,” and who “did not support Florida when we had our kids in school in person.”
Despite Fauci’s criticism of DeSantis’ decision to allow this past academic school year to be held in person, the fear to re-open schools as the vaccine was rolled out in January has so far been unfounded in Florida.
The Governor’s handling of the pandemic will undoubtedly be the top issue on which he is graded as he gears up for reelection in 2022. On that front, it is noteworthy that his administration’s approach has been to evaluate the data coming in, listen to medical professionals, and make decisions that give local governments the freedom to do what is in the best interest of their communities without imposing oppressive lockdown directives from the Governor’s mansion.
In April, the Governor’s Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran wrote a letter to local school districts advising them to make masks voluntary instead of mandatory, allowing our kids and parents the freedom to decide how they want their kids to be educated as we all adjust to life in the beginning of the end of the pandemic. He didn’t forget about teachers, either, who along with first responders and correctional officers will get a $1,000 bonus this coming year, a top legislative priority for Governor DeSantis, who acknowledged the “unique set of circumstances that many of our schools” had to deal with over the last year.
“We really believed we had to cut through all the storms and all the nonsense and stand with our parents and stand with our students,” Governor DeSantis said last month. As the race for 2022 heats up, you can expect more of that no-lockdown, no-nonsense, straight-talk from America’s favorite Governor in the months ahead. Democrats beware.
Bob Carlstrom is President of AMAC Action
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