Ron DeSantis Does Not Appreciate Joe Biden Telling Him To GET THE F*CK OUT OF THE WAY
COVID-19 has killed at 39,179 Floridians. Each day, that number moves closer to Republican Ron DeSantis's margin of victory in the 2018 governor's race. His Democratic opponent, Andrew Gillum, admittedly turned out to be a screw up, but even if he'd spent his entire term unconscious on a hotel room floor, Gillum would've managed the COVID-19 outbreak better than DeSantis, who's mocked science and medical experts as the Delta variant spreads unchecked.
DeSantis won't even get out of the way of local Democratic officials who aren't incompetent assholes and want to fight the virus instead of self-initiated culture war battles. DeSantis had presidential ambitions and winning a Republican primary is a race to America's spiritual and intellectual bottom. Still, most Republican governors who run for president prefer to boast about reducing the size of their state's government not its population.
The governor addressed the public Wednesday, on the heels of polling showing him with just 44 percent approval — a 10 point drop from a separate poll in May. The St Petes Poll has DeSantis losing re-election to potential Democratic opponent Rep. Charlie Crist. DeSantis, however, is four points ahead of Democrat Nikki Fried, probably because you didn't know she existed until this sentence.
DeSantis's press conference wasn't the worst from a sitting governor this week, but it finished a strong second. The guy spent four-and-a-half minutes whining about how President Joe Biden was mean to him. By the way, Biden's approval rating in Florida, according to the St. Pete's Poll, is 48 percent.
the DeSantis hissy fit is gonna be epic https://t.co/RDnutm58ch— Eric Boehlert (@Eric Boehlert)1628026806.0
Tuesday, Biden called out Republican governors who won't support the most basic mitigation efforts against the virus. He said:
The escalation of cases is particularly concentrated in states with low vaccination rates. Just two states — Florida and Texas — account for one-third of all new COVID-19 cases in the entire country, just two states. Look, we need leadership from everyone. If some governors aren't willing to do the right thing to beat this pandemic, then they should allow businesses and universities who want to do the right thing to be able to do it.
I say to these governors: Please help. But if you aren't going to help, at least get out of the way.
DeSantis took this personally because he's personally responsible for the shit show in Florida. But Biden's remarks didn't humble DeSantis, who still refuses to change course. PressRun editor Eric Boehlert predicted an epic hissy fit from DeSantis, and he delivered. Although, even for a known whinyass brat, it was a pathetic display.
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), whose state is experiencing record COVID hospitalizations, to President Biden: “Why don’… https://t.co/rPSmAXixG7— The Recount (@The Recount)1628099501.0
DESANTIS: Joe Biden has taken to himself to try to single out Florida over COVID.
DeSantis took it upon himself to single out New York as a plague zone during the early days of the pandemic, and he was happy to bask in headlines from publications such as Politico and the Wall Street Journal that praised his (disastrous) approach to the pandemic.
DESANTIS: This is a guy who ran for president saying he was gonna, quote, shut down the virus and what has he done? He's imported more virus from around the world by having a wide-open southern border.
Which border is DeSantis blaming his surge on, Georgia or Alabama? This is predictably racist, and it's the GOP go-to maneuver. Senator Ted Cruz from Texas also blamed immigrants for the COVID-19 surge in his state. DeSantis went so far as to claim without evidence that the federal government's putting Mexican immigrants on planes and buses to spread COVID-19 variants across the country to fools who won't get vaccinated or wear a damn mask.
DESANTIS: Why don't you do your job? Why don't you get this border secure? And until you do that, I don't wanna hear a blip about COVID from you, thank you.
If DeSantis wants to accuse an elected official of dereliction of duty, he should look in the nearest mirror before it shatters. Last week, he jetted off to an event in Utah, where he mocked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's revised mask guidance. Maybe DeSantis would support mask mandates if we called them cloth walls erected on your face.
Despite the Trump administration's best hopes, COVID-19 doesn't care about your nationality, race, or political affiliation. A pandemic is also a little different from border security, even if the latter polls better for Republicans. DeSantis hopes to obscure his own lethal failures with bigoted fear mongering, but the facts get in the way. Last month, data from one of the largest migrant shelters in South Texas showed that 90 percent of migrants had voluntarily received the vaccine. They aren't the problem. Homegrown public health terrorists are.
DeSantis ended his tantrum with a stirring “Don't Tread On Me" improv number where he declared that “we can either have a free society or a biomedical security state." This nonsense is best suited for a Tucker Carlson monologue.
When asked Wednesday to comment on DeSantis's frightened rant, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki delivered this deliciously biting response: “23 percent of new COVID hospitalizations in the US are in Florida, and their hospitals are being overwhelmed again. We are doing everything we can to help the people of Florida."
That's right, governor: Keeping the residents of Florida safe from your ineptitude is Biden's job.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."