(USA Features) Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis lashed out at Dr. Anthony Fauci following revelations earlier this week he may have been aware of risky viral research being conducted in China that could have led to the COVID-19 pandemic.
DeSantis, in an interview with Fox News Thursday, also said that he decided early on to deviate from many of the recommendations regarding the virus coming from Fauci and other federal health officials due to their often contradictory nature.
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“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,'” DeSantis said.
“I think we’re much better for doing that,” DeSantis noted further. “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,” the GOP governor continued.
“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,” DeSantis said.
His comments come after a batch of emails obtained by Buzzfeed News and the Washington Post via FOIA request provided new information regarding Fauci’s reversals on mask-wearing, his denials that the virus could have come from a lab in Wuhan, China, and other issues.
The emails also indicated that Fauci told a medical professor at Cornell University in February 2020 how to “handle” matters after being told that the lab-leak theory being pushed by then-President Donald Trump was very plausible. He later thanked Wuhan lab-linked Peter Daszak for helping “dispel the myths.”
Fauci has also made contradictory statements about mask-wearing, lockdowns, facial coverings, and school reopenings.
“Almost every governor viewed him as the authority, he was being held up as that,” DeSantis said of Fauci as the pandemic began. “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,” the governor added.