Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis railed at critics of voter integrity laws signed by him and his Georgia GOP colleague, Gov. Brian Kemp, while still taking money from the Communist Chinese government.
The Sunshine State Republican made his comments Monday after signing two bills designed to curb Chinese influence in the state.
“Today, the State of Florida is taking a stand against communist dictators and bad state actors. We will STOP CCP INFLUENCE in our education system and government by going on offense,” he wrote on Twitter in a post containing a Facebook video of the signing ceremony.
Today, the State of Florida is taking a stand against communist dictators and bad state actors. We will STOP CCP INFLUENCE in our education system and government by going on offense.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) June 7, 2021
The first bill seeks to protect public institutions from “undue foreign influence” by, in part, banning “agreements between public entities and the Communist Party of China or Cuba or any of these malignant forces.”
The second piece of legislation criminalizes the theft and trafficking of corporate and trade secrets.
“Anyone who willfully, without authorization, steals or attempts to steal a trade secret and uses it for their own benefit will now face a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison,” said DeSantis, before turning his attention to left-wing activists who are attempting to prevent states from shoring up their voter integrity laws in the wake of a chaotic 2020 election.
“And then I don’t even need to discuss, you know, these entertainers and the athletes and these business people,” DeSantis said.
“If you’re somebody that will light your hair on fire because Georgia is requiring voter ID but yet you’re lining your pocket with money from China and not a peep about the slave labor that’s going on over there, you, my friend, are a hypocrite, and you’re not somebody that should be taken seriously,” he said.
“And yet, that seems to be the normal course of things,” DeSantis continued.
“And I think a lot of these companies, you know, who’ve tried to become woke and try to basically get in with some of these far-left activists when it comes to things like voter ID, they have a really hard time explaining how if that’s the line in the sand for them, how they could possibly have these business relationships that they do in China and specifically with the Chinese Communist Party, because you don’t get to have big business relationships there unless you have the imprimatur of the CCP,” he said.
“So I think what the legislature did was great. It was long overdue, but particularly, I don’t see how anyone could have lived through the last year and a half,” DeSantis went on, “and not come to the conclusion that there’s something fundamentally wrong about how this regime is influencing so many different institutions and industries around the world.”
Later, DeSantis talked about COVID-19 as it relates to China’s alleged involvement.
“I really hope that we’re going to have accountability for the origins of the COVID pandemic because this just did not need to happen,” DeSantis said Monday. “The Chinese Communist Party is primarily to blame, but there’s also American money that very well may have flown to Wuhan.”
DeSantis, a Harvard-educated lawyer and former U.S. Navy officer who deployed to Iraq with SEAL Team One as a legal adviser to SEAL command, went on to say he has long considered China a U.S. adversary, and that global organizations and corporations have nevertheless moved to defend and protect Beijing.
“The [World Health Organization] is in the pocket of the communist party of China. They basically were having everybody look the other way,” he said.
“The idea was to try to whitewash the role of the CCP in this virus and it wasn’t just WHO, it wasn’t just bureaucracies. You saw the academic community largely circle the wagons and defend the CCP.”
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