Governor Ron Desantis: Florida Man Takes a Florida Stand

The Flag Staff Contributor
Governor Ron Desantis: Florida Man Takes a Florida Stand
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Governor Ron Desantis: Florida’s governor has been in the spotlight recently for his stance on how to address COVID. Here’s what both sides are saying. To have stories like this and more delivered directly to your inbox, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.

Top Story: Governor Ron Desantis

Florida makes up roughly 6.5% of the US population. Last Wednesday, the Sunshine State accounted for over 20% of the country’s new coronavirus cases. In response, President Joe Biden asked GOP governors to “get out of the way” of virus containment efforts. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is up for reelection next year and frequently mentioned as a 2024 presidential contender, clapped back, saying he did not want to “hear a blip about COVID from you, thank you.” He added, “Why don’t you do your job?” The efforts Biden is referring to are mask and vaccine mandates, which have both become extremely touchy subjects when discussed in the context of school and business settings. For example, DeSantis has banned mask mandates in Florida schools and argued that vaccines are the best way to stem the surge without implementing new restrictions that infringe on personal liberty. Here’s how both sides are reacting to the bickering between Biden and DeSantis.

On The Right

Right-leaning commentators vehemently support Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. They think he’s a good blend of Trump policies without Trump’s personality. At the same time, they think DeSantis and the GOP at large are one scandal away from everything crashing down. They believe Biden and the media are privy to this, which is why they’re focusing so much on DeSantis’ handling of the recent COVID surge.

“Biden’s pathetic bid to blame GOP governors for COVID spike”New York Post Editorial Board: “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is absolutely right in calling out President Joe Biden’s COVID hypocrisy: The president is blaming the surge in cases partly on DeSantis and other GOP governors who resist tighter restrictions — even as Biden lets thousands of COVID-positive migrants flood the nation. … By abandoning successful policies that President Donald Trump put in place to control the border, Biden himself created a nightmare. … Team Biden’s promises about vaccines for migrants is a clear acknowledgment that illegal border-crossers are fueling the problem — and the first step toward solving a problem, as they say, is recognizing you have one. Great. Alas, his shifting the blame toward others doesn’t inspire confidence.”

“Ron DeSantis, the Great Right Hope” Stephen Miller, Spectator Opinion: “Florida governor Ron DeSantis … is single-handedly carrying the GOP and its still somewhat loyal Trump base on his back … This is a burden no politician should be saddled with. The country and the GOP is one Ron DeSantis scandal away from returning to Trump’s awkward embrace in 2024. The national media knows this — which explains the feverish attempts to elevate every charlatan with a story or half-rumor to tell about his state and his governorship. … DeSantis more or less offers a clean break from [Trump]. He has been picking and choosing the parts of the Trumpworld platform that suit him, like taking on Big Tech censorship, critical race theory in schools, strong immigration policy, and punching back at the media in a more refined and focused way. This approach seems to reflect where the party appetite is. However one major falter, and A New Hope becomes The Empire Strikes Back. All of the eggs are in the DeSantis basket.”

“Ron DeSantis Shows Republicans How to Win by Fighting for Americanism Against Wokeism” James Pinkerton, Breitbart: “DeSantis has been on a roll, having made the right calls on COVID-19, on the ‘mostly peaceful protests’ (also known as riots), on girl-stomping transgender athletics, and on critical race theory. And oh yes, he not only survived a hit-piece from CBS News’ 60 Minutes, but actually emerged as the winner. … Ron DeSantis is the tip of the spear. As governor of a state which is just 53 percent non-Hispanic white, he made the bet that color-blind Americanism—including law and order and good civics—would be a winner. … Yes, DeSantis has the benefit of a Republican legislature, and yet so do most states.  The better explanation for DeSantis’ success is that he has been more alert to governmental necessity (and, of course, political opportunity as well).”

On The Left

Left-leaning commentators think Gov. Ron DeSantis is dangerous, not only to the people of Florida but to the country at large. They believe the Biden administration will have a very difficult time taming the virus if GOP governors don’t do their part to advocate masking and mandatory vaccination. In their eyes, Ron DeSantis is leading the pack.

“Why Ron DeSantis is more dangerous than Trump” Dean Obeidallah, MSNBC Opinion: “There should be a special place in hell — or potentially in prison — for politicians who put their political goals ahead of the health and safety of our children. That is exactly what Gov. Ron DeSantis is doing in Florida with the executive order he signed last Friday barring school districts from mandating that students and school employees wear masks during the spike in COVID cases. … DeSantis is more dangerous [than Trump]. For starters, DeSantis wields actual governmental power, while Trump has none. … But DeSantis, like Trump, won’t back down. … His focus isn’t on what’s good for all the people of Florida — it’s on only what makes the GOP base happy. And if children need to be sacrificed for DeSantis to win the GOP nomination for president, he is clearly willing to take that risk.”

“Ron DeSantis is a big problem for Biden” Julian Zelizer, CNN Opinion: “The tension between President Biden and Gov. DeSantis is a glaring example that the problem the President faces with the pandemic is a political one. He’s dealing with large pockets of public health denialism that are deploying this issue—packaged in the rhetoric of individual freedom—to undercut efforts to protect the population, the economy, and our health care system from the ravages of this ongoing pandemic. … America is today a divided nation, one faction vaccinated and sometimes masked, the other against vaccines and always unmasked that makes containing the virus and its variants nearly impossible. And the costs of the continued damage are paid by everyone, through funding health care, to the damage to our economy, to the psychological carnage of entering another school year with this virus. … [Biden] will need to continue to press his foot on the gas to reverse the direction that the nation has taken in the past few months, largely as a result of the anti-vaccination movement.”

“Incredibly, DeSantis blames Florida COVID surge on Biden, immigrants. Scapegoat much?” Fabiola Santiago, Miami Herald Opinion: “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has failed to protect Floridians from COVID-19. That fact alone is grounds for condemnation, but [last] week he’s throwing into the mix a little xenophobia for political effect. … Struggling for credibility as COVID ravages the state, DeSantis … has come up with a new round of scapegoats for his failures: President Biden, immigrants at the border, and media ‘hysteria.’ … The governor says it’s immigrants crossing the border — and not the Floridians he has encouraged to behave irresponsibly, the unvaccinated or the unmasked — who are spreading variants. … Here’s what’s real: DeSantis still doesn’t care one iota about all Floridians; he only cares about stoking his base to distract from his failure. … As for Biden, asked Thursday at an open-press event on the South Lawn to respond to DeSantis’ attack, the president said: ‘Governor who?'”

Flag This: Governor Ron Desantis

According to a new survey from St. Pete Polls, among 3,952 likely Florida voters, 43.7% of respondents said they approve of the job Ron DeSantis is doing as governor. If the election for Governor of Florida was held today, 45.3% said they would vote for Democrat Charlie Crist, compared to 43.8% who said they would re-elect DeSantis. DeSantis does come in ahead of Democrat Nikki Fried, however. Finally, the survey asked: “When schools start classes later this month in Florida, do you think that masks should be required for all children?” 62% said “Yes”, 31.9% said “No,” and 6.1% were unsure.

Flag Poll: Governor Ron Desantis

Outside of Florida, when kids head back to school either imminently or within the next month across the country, do you believe masks should be required for all children? Comment below to share your thoughts.

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2 months ago

Absolutely not. Does everyone have amnesia when it comes to Fauci emails. He said masks don’t work.

Keri Holmes
2 months ago

Either masked, or simply required to show proof of vaccination like they do for MMR today.

2 months ago

The last I knew this was land of the free still. We should have no mandates now., let the people decide for themselves. This is the American way. I don’t need big government running my life and never have. Me and my family are all vaccinated because we felt it was the right thing for us to do, if other do not feel that way then let them take the risk. I think it is unAmerican to force this on schools let the students/teachers decide for themselves.

2 months ago

Governor Ron DeSantis is correct; no mask mandates or vaccine mandates. Let freedom ring along with personal responsibility!

Thomas Bender
2 months ago

No I do not think that school children should be required to wear masks. I believe the science supports the proposition that wearing masks all day in school is potentially more harmful to children’s health than the virus. If I were a cynic, I would say the government is trying to use school children as props in a political dust up with Conservatives.

Antoinette Brown
2 months ago

No mandates!

George Glass
2 months ago

Technically they are not masks, they are face coverings. The very first thing my family Doctoer told me in 2020 was that mask isn’t protecting you. Germs and virus get through the sides, when you touch it or reuse it it infects your hands or what it comes in contact with. The masks are used one time in surgical and medical arenas then disposed of prkperly.What should be mandated is kids and adults not sticking their fingers in their nose and mouth and not touching everything they see at stores and restaurants.

2 months ago

Yes! Children under 11 don’t have the option to get vaccinated, so it is our responsibility, as a community, to do what is necessary to keep them safe. If I, as a fully vaccinated person who has also survived COVID, need to wear a mask again and socially distance to keep them & my grandchildren safe…so be it. Time to mask up again till we beat this new variant and any that follow.

2 months ago

When, oh when, are people going to start looking outside the media hype for information? Go to the CDC website. Look under Covid and look at the comorbidities. Did the people who died test positive? Maybe. But we had 279,260 deaths linked to flu in 20/21. When you incentivize healthcare to treat a specific illness what do people die from? What you pay them to treat. In other countries, that keep much better records, people that have had a third shot are still contracting the disease. And they’re reporting 17% effectiveness for people vaccinated in January. This isn’t going away. Masks don’t do a darn thing. Biden by his border policies is putting us even more at risk. You better get used to this because it isn’t going away.

2 months ago

Former Newsmax host and right-wing Florida radio commentator Dick Farrel — who mocked vaccines, the “scamdemic” and “lying freak” Dr. Anthony Fauci — has died of COVID-19. So this is what happens when you ignore science. So Desantis thinks its okay to exposure children to COVID in schools – how many have to die before he realizes science Rules?

Diana Hammond
2 months ago

I don’t think masks should be mandated for children under 12 but should be for all others. What should be mandated is getting the vaccine. Even if it’s not 100% effective, it does enough to keep you out of the ICU. I don’t know why folks have such a problem with this idea since we’ve been requiring shots for children of school age for at least 60 years, and shots for international travel to many locations. If politics would stay out of this mess then the CDC and others could be concentrating on more effective vaccines.
Personal liberties my butt! People have been demanding governmental action for so many factions of life for so long they’ve forgotten how to get along without it. Some people have to be led kicking and screaming all the way to protect themselves from themselves and ensure their overblown sense of entitlement doesn’t infringe on the safety of others.