Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that it only took him "a few weeks" to decide his state wasn't "doing Fauciism" in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
"It took me a few weeks, March and into April, to get enough data to say okay, you know, we're not doing Fauciism," DeSantis told Carlson during a Fox Nation interview, a portion of which aired on Monday's "Tucker Carlson Tonight." "We're gonna make sure our state's open. We're gonna get the kids back into school, and we'll just focus our protection on elderly people."
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis: "It took me a few weeks, March and into April, to get enough data to say okay, you know, we're not doing Fauciism. We're gonna make sure our state's open. We're gonna get the kids back into school, and we'll just focus our protection on elderly people." pic.twitter.com/zFL7KQq4WN— Scott Morefield (@SKMorefield) April 20, 2021
Certainly, pretty much everyone was "doing Fauciism" - or employing lockdowns - at the beginning of the pandemic, and it's hard to entirely blame them. It was a novel virus with a lot of unknowns, and though many of us resisted lockdowns at first, most politicians caved to the fear, including DeSantis.
Note Florida's absence from this Ballotpedia report:
Seven states—Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming—did not issue orders directing residents to stay at home from nonessential activities in March and April 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The 43 other states all issued orders at the state level directing residents to stay at home except for essential activities and closing businesses that each state deemed nonessential.
Only one of the seven states that did not issue a stay-at-home order did not require any businesses to close: South Dakota. All seven states also closed schools to in-person instruction.
Though South Dakota's Kristi Noem has gotten much deserved praise from Team Reality for her consistent stand on coronavirus, it's also notable that her state, and most of the others that never closed, are low-population-density Western states. Florida, on the other hand, has almost 22 million people and the second-highest percentage over-65 population in the country.
Which, when you think of it, makes what DeSantis did end up doing all the more remarkable. In September, Florida's governor rolled back the rest of the restrictions in his state and even took the brave step of suspending the collection of fines or fees for not wearing a mask.
Since then, they haven't looked back. The left, of course, predicted overwhelmed hospitals and bodies in the streets for Florida and other states that refused to tow the Fauci line, but the sky didn't fall. Sure, there was a Fall/Winter surge just like most everywhere else, but Florida's numbers weren't dissimilar to those in California and other states with similar population densities. And so far, Florida, with its huge proportion of elderly residents, stands 28th out of 50 states in deaths per million, below the national average.
Because Fauci's back in the news today, his favorite place, it's worth repeating that he was unbelievably wrong about Florida, as were most other national experts...and no one in media cares or has even the slightest doubt whether his opinions are actually "science" based pic.twitter.com/BRvkYreZ7B— IM (@ianmSC) April 15, 2021
Even liberal HBO comedian Bill Maher, who has been remarkably astute at times of late, gave DeSantis credit for being "a voracious consumer of the scientific literature" who "protected his most vulnerable population, the elderly, way better than did the governor of New York."
Indeed, DeSantis has earned this praise, just as he's earned his place as a GOP 2024 presidential front-runner.