“It’s very important that we explicitly say no to lockdowns, not to close schools, not to sanctions and no to mandates,” DeSantis told a crowd at a conservative state policy conference in Utah on Wednesday.
The outlooks of DeSantis and other potential GOP 2024 contenders often mirror former President Donald Trump’s downplay of the pandemic and right-wing television networks — which are poised to play a central role in the next GOP presidential primary race — have called for Dr. Anthony Fauci is criticized. , opposed the government mandate and raised questions about the effectiveness of vaccines.
Ahead of his 2022 gubernatorial re-election — and a possible 2024 presidency — DeSantis, the nation’s top infectious disease official, is using Fauci as a political punching bag, according to Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. is opposed to. .
Florida on Wednesday reported its fourth biggest single-day spike in Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began, with 17,589 new cases. It is one of 32 states to see an average of more than 50% increase in the number of new cases in the past seven days compared to a week ago, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. But it is one of only two states in which each county in the state is listed as having high Covid-19 transmission.
In a Wednesday fundraising email, DeSantis said Fauci should be fired.
“The corporate media is Fauci’s praetorian guard, and they’re attacking me because I’m ready to hold Fauci accountable,” DeSantis said.
The political team of Florida’s governor, who is up for re-election next year, sent out another fundraising email on Thursday lambasting Fauci.
The email said, “Dr. Fauci, the beloved unelected bureaucratic leader of the Left, who assured us that vaccinated individuals are no longer required to wear masks, is now advising vaccinated adults to wear masks.. . again,” the email said. “Fauci also wants to force 3-year-olds to wear masks indefinitely.”
And on Friday, DeSantis said at a news conference that he would sign an executive order barring schools from requiring students to wear masks – a move that followed Broward County public schools opting to make masks mandatory. He also said that his three young children do not wear masks.
“My wife and I are not going to mask with the kids. We never have to, we won’t. I want to see my kids smile. I want them to have fun.”
DeSantis and other potential Republican 2024 presidential contenders have begun competing over who has most proudly ignored the recommendations of federal public health officials and condemned those officials and agencies.
The headline on a fundraising email Friday from Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul: “Fauci’s Lies Are Criminal.”
The race to protest mask mandates, business closures and more is already playing out as the party’s shadow presidential race – one that could only burst into full view if Trump decides not to run again in 2024. Do – Early voting begins to develop in the primary at conventions with states and party workers.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has used early rounds of Iowa and conservative political gatherings to take implicit jabs at DeSantis, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and other Republicans who mandated masks and closed some businesses during the pandemic.
Noem said at the Conservative Political Action Conference gathering in Dallas, “We’ve got Republican governors across this country who pretend they haven’t closed their states; they haven’t closed down their territories, that they don’t wear masks. not made mandatory.” Month. “Now I’m not choosing to fight with Republican governors. All I’m saying is that we need leaders with patience. Their first instinct is the right instinct.”
She bragged that South Dakota had not ordered a “single business” to close.
“We had not given the mandate. We trusted our people and told them that personal responsibility was the best answer,” Noem said.
South Dakota has seen an increase in Covid-19 cases, but is not seeing the dramatic spike that other states – especially in the South – have seen in recent weeks.
In Abbott, Texas, an order signed on Thursday banned vaccination requirements or mask mandates — a move that also barred local governments from enforcing their policies.
He signed an executive order instructing state troops to stop any vehicle if there is a “reasonable suspicion” that it was carrying some immigrants who crossed the US-Mexico border illegally. and were released from the custody of US Customs and Border Protection.
If the state authorities confirm that the migrants are being transported in that category, the agency will have to repatriate the vehicle to its native place as per the order. The order also empowers state troops to confiscate vehicles being used to transport migrants.
“The dramatic increase in illegal border crossings has led to a dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases among illegal immigrants who have made their way into our state, and we need to do more to protect Texans from this virus and reduce the burden on our communities.” should do more, Abbott said in a statement about the order on Thursday.