Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ sales of merchandise to help fund his 2022 reelection campaign includes items with the slogan, “Don’t Fauci My Florida,” a reference to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s lead immunologist and top medical adviser to the Biden administration over his continued push of liberty-stealing recommendations amid the waning COVID pandemic.
Other items also contain slogans that appear to take aim at Fauci’s disease restriction recommendations as well including “Keep Florida Free” and a beverage koozie that says, “How the hell am I going to be able to drink a beer with a mask on?” the Washington Post reported.
NEW TODAY: Our team just dropped EXCLUSIVE merchandise on our brand-new @WINRED storefront.
Trust us… You don’t want to miss out on this. 👀
— Team DeSantis (@teamrondesantis) July 12, 2021
The beer quote came from when DeSantis was seen not wearing a mask and drinking a beer at the Super Bowl in Tampa earlier this year.
“Someone said, ‘Hey, you were at the Super Bowl without a mask’ … but how the hell am I going to be able to drink a beer with a mask on? Come on. I had to watch the Bucs win,” the governor responded.
The slogans and the merch stem from grief DeSantis and other GOP officials in Florida took after the governor decided to reopen his state in May 2020 — much earlier than nearly every other state — against the repeated advice of Fauci and his backers.
But DeSantis’ objective wasn’t to infect more Floridians, as he left in place restrictions including allowing localities to continue mask and social distancing mandates. Rather, it was to ensure Florida businesses and workers didn’t suffer inordinate financial setbacks, which, by any measure, proved successful.
“With rare exceptions, the states that shut down the longest suffered the most economic harm. …Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis let nearly all businesses stay open after May,” The Wall Street Journal reported in April.
“Florida’s private GDP had shrunk only 1.1% by year-end, dragged down by weak international and domestic tourism. New York’s food and accommodation industry shrank more than twice as much as Florida’s and the most in the U.S.,” the paper continued.
But it was the merch and its slogans that drew the most ire from opponents on social media, many accusing DeSantis, falsely, of being responsible for COVID deaths.
“How did I miss some of the dumbest and most deadly merchandise on offer?” The Hollywood Reporter correspondent Kim Masters wrote.
“Merchandise mocking a man who tried to keep people alive by a man who doesn’t care if they die,” said another Twitter user.
“I can’t believe this is serious, anything to keep the grift going,” wrote another.
“DeSantis mocking responsible people who saved lives, and profiting off of his pro-death stance,” another user complained.
“Most doctors will tell you, and these are people that actually know what they’re talking about, that if any state should be worried right now, it should be Florida. Less than half the state is vaccinated we have a governor who has absolutely no business being governor,” wrote another.
“Big congrats to you,” said another in a post containing a screengrab of a news story claiming Florida’s COVID illnesses are spiking.
Big congrats to you. 🙄 pic.twitter.com/jiLAt62D4z
— Suzan Scott (@NewsJunkieBlu) July 14, 2021
For his part, DeSantis has blasted government agencies including the CDC throughout the pandemic for giving ineffective and often contradictory advice — but always with recommendations to stay locked down.
“If you look at some of the stuff that they’ve done on school openings, where they’re basically doing the teacher’s union’s bidding, when they say these kids should be masked in summer camp outdoors. I’m sorry, that’s not science, that’s politics,” he said during a news conference at Satellite Beach in May.
“Do you want one unelected bureaucracy to be able to have the power to indefinitely shut down a major industry in this country?” he added, in reference to Florida’s cruise line industry.
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