Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who’s been waging war on COVID-19 safety measures in a clear bid to be the next MAGA king ahead of 2024, sees ex-president Donald Trump’s oblique swipe and raises him a challenge of who can be more pro-spread than the other.
When asked during an interview with a right-wing podcast on Thursday what he wished he had done differently during his governorship, DeSantis artfully used the question to criticize what the Trump administration did, which was: being too harsh against the virus.
The GOP governor recounted how he was advising Trump when COVID-19 first struck the U.S. in 2020 and was completely blindsided when the government enacted shutdowns to keep the virus from spreading.
“What could you do earlier?” DeSantis asked, repeating the question. “When COVID was first coming we was engaged in it. I was telling Trump, ‘stop the flights from China,’ because we didn’t know what we were dealing with,” he said.
“I never thought in February, early March that [COVID-19] would lead to locking down the country. I just didn’t. I just didn’t think that was on the radar,” DeSantis continued.
And so “knowing now what I know then, if that was a threat earlier, I would have been much louder about trying to say ‘This is not–’” the governor said before cutting himself off.
“But what happened was, people like Fauci panicked,” he concluded. “They were following the data out of China.”
In essence, DeSantis claims his mistake was not keeping the Trump administration from making a mistake because boy, that sure was a big mistake that it made!
The governor’s comment comes several days after Trump bashed certain “gutless” politicians who just so happened to fit DeSantis’ profile.
“I watched a couple of politicians be interviewed, and one of the questions was, ‘Did you get the booster?’ — because they had the vaccine — and they’re answering it like — in other words, the answer is ‘yes’ but they don’t want to say it because they’re gutless,” Trump said during an OAN interview. “You gotta say it — whether you had it or not. Say it.”
It was fairly clear that the ex-president was referring to DeSantis, who had come under fire several weeks prior for dodging when Fox’s “Sunday Morning Futures” host Maria Bartiromo asked him if he got the booster shot.
Trump has reportedly been griping to allies about DeSantis because the governor hasn’t said that he would drop out of the 2024 GOP primary if Trump were to run again.