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Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis blasted Anthony Fauci after thousands of pages of emails were released showing the doctor’s contradicting positions and discussed how his state diverged from the arbitrary federal government health guidelines.
“I think [Fauci] is somebody who if you followed what he said, that he said you did a good job,” DeSantis said. “For example, he said New York has the best response to COVID. Obviously, in terms of the numbers, I don’t see how you could possibly say that both for COVID and all of the destruction that has happened. In Florida, we chose freedom over Fauci-ism.”
“I think we’re much better for doing that,” DeSantis continued. “His lockdown policies were not justified by the scientific data. He was somebody that fearmongered about schools. He did not support Florida when we had our kids in school in person. I think he was wrong about masks and asymptomatic spread. Obviously, he does so many interviews that it was pretty clear to me after a pretty short time that this was all about himself and his own image. And for me, you a look at that magazine cover with him lounging by the pool with the sunglasses on, you know, right in the midst of a pandemic, and it was almost like a ‘let them eat cake’ moment for all the people who were chafing under his lockdowns, and yet he seemed to be having the time of his life.”
A batch of emails obtained by Buzzfeed News and the Washington Post via a Freedom of Information Act request shed more light on Fauci’s flip-flopping on masking, among other issues. In February 2020, Fauci told individuals masks were ineffective and advised a former Obama administration secretary not to wear one.
Emails also show Fauci colluded with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on a “COVID-19 Information Hub.” They also show Fauci told a Cornell medical professor to “handle” matters upon being informed in February 2020 that the Trump-preferred lab-leak theory was plausible, but then afterward thanked Wuhan lab-linked Peter Daszak for helping “dispel the myths.” Fauci has contradicted himself on lockdown policy, face-covering guidance, and school reopenings — among other topics.
DeSantis also mentioned his experience working with Fauci at the beginning of the pandemic before diverging and opening up Florida.
“Almost every governor viewed him as the authority, he was being held up as that,” DeSantis said. “We listened to him. We worked with him as we got into March, you know, we were working with the task force. But I think, as it was pretty clear as the data started coming in, in April in particular, I departed from what the task force was recommending.”
According to DeSantis, although his own interactions with Fauci decreased, Fauci was “very involved with a lot of governors every step of the way. Certainly, in like New York and some of the states that had the nursing home policy, he was intimately involved in things like that. He was a big believer in the hospital models that was funded by Bill Gates. Those models were grievously wrong. But I know he was a believer in that. He was also a believer in the Imperial College model that Neil Ferguson had done, which was disastrously wrong but caused a lot of panic both in the United Kingdom and the United States.”
DeSantis has continued to ridicule lockdown policies that were instituted in blue states, having opened up Florida in September 2020 prior to other governors.