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Earlier this week with Vice President Mike Pence looking on, Ron DeSantis, a former U.S. congressman, took reporters to task for their “partisan narrative” in criticizing his and his state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic after first projecting weeks ago that Florida would become “another Italy.”
“Our data is available, our data is transparent. In fact, Dr. [Deborah] Birx has talked multiple times about how Florida has the best data,” an animated DeSantis said during a Wednesday press briefing.
“So any insinuation otherwise is just typical partisan narrative trying to be spun. And part of the reason is because you have a lot of people in your profession who waxed poetic for weeks about how Florida is going to be just like New York,” he continued.
“‘Wait two weeks, Florida is going to be next. Just like Italy, wait two weeks.’ Well, hell, we’re eight weeks away from that, and it hasn’t happened,” he went on. “Not only do we have a way lower death rate … I was the number one landing spot for tens of thousands of people leaving the number one hot zone in the world coming to my state.
“So we’ve succeeded, and I think people just don’t want to recognize it because it challenges their narrative, it challenges their assumptions. So they’ve got to try to find a bogeyman. Maybe it’s that there are black helicopters circling the Department of Health. If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you,” the Republican governor said.
‘Our data is transparent’: Florida Gov. DeSantis goes scorched earth on the media for its failed partisan narrative https://t.co/lJVXbfSbMw
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) May 21, 2020
The performance was gold, according to Limbaugh.
“I want to start with a graduate, or the closest that we’ve ever had to a graduate, of the EIB Limbaugh Institute, and that would be Florida Governor Ron DeSantis,” Rush said at the beginning of a segment. “As you know, there are no graduates from the Limbaugh Institute because the learning never stops. We don’t issue degrees here because there never is a time where we have proclaimed that our students have learned it all. Because our curriculum is constantly expanding. There is no set curriculum here.
“But Governor DeSantis has asked in the past for an honorary degree, and Governor DeSantis has said that if said honorary degree were ever bestowed, that he would frame it, hang it proudly on the wall in his gubernatorial office,” Rush further noted.
“And if anybody has come close to earning an honorary degree from the Limbaugh Institute, it is the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis. He has clearly had enough of the Drive-By Media. After months of being slammed by fake news and by the gloom and doom casualty forecasts over his handling of the coronavirus, the governor called them out,” the talk radio behemoth added.
Limbaugh noted that the media’s attacks on DeSantis are most likely aimed at deflecting the “abject failure” in coronavirus response policy by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who ordered nursing homes to begin accepting COVID-19-infected patients in March. Critics claim the decision led to a dramatic rise in coronavirus nursing deaths.
“[D]espite the massive numbers of people escaping to Florida — escaping the infected Northeast — Florida did better than all the others,” said Limbaugh. “New York has over 350,000 coronavirus cases compared to under 50,000 cases in Florida — and 29,000 of those in Florida are in the southeastern counties of the state.”
During his presser, DeSantis also blasted the media for suggesting that the firing of an analyst for the Florida Department of Health was some sort of coronavirus-related cover-up. He noted that the analyst is currently “under active criminal charges in the state of Florida,” and is likely to be charged “with cyber-stalking and cyber-sexual harassment.”
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