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Screen shot from Florida Democratic Party's video ad "DeSantis Failed Florida" showing footage of Gov. Ron DeSantis at May 20 Orlando press conference.


Democrats drop video hitting Ron DeSantis over May 20 media-bashing rant

Florida Dems try to point out it’s been a long 8 weeks since DeSantis’ complaints.

Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ May 20 Orlando press conference rant belittling the media and others for dire COVID-19 forecasts is coming back to haunt him in campaign ad form.

Florida Democrats launched a one-minute ad Monday featuring CNN host Chris Cuomo putting the Governor’s complaints in the context of dire COVID-19 trends seen since DeSantis’ now frequently rebroadcast statements.

“You got a lot of people in your profession who waxed poetically for weeks and weeks about how Florida is going to be just like New York,” DeSantis said in the conference, while wagging a finger at reporters. “Wait two weeks. Florida is going to be next. Just like Italy. Wait two weeks. Well, hell, we’re eight weeks away from that, and it hasn’t happened.”

Now Florida is eight weeks away from that press conference, and things have changed. Florida now has confirmed 269,119 positive cases of COVID-19, up from 47,471 on May 20. Florida now has 18,271 people who’ve been hospitalized due to the virus and has suffered 4,242 COVID-19 deaths, more than double the 8,681 hospitalizations and 2,096 deaths that were reported by May 20.

The Democrats’ video, “DeSantis Failed Florida,” lets Cuomo do the talking.

“Ignoring the pandemic does not make it go away,” Cuomo said. “This is why states like Florida are in such dire straits. He made [President Donald] Trump happy, Gov. DeSantis did. And now more Floridians than they can count accurately appear to be sick.”

While video shows Cuomo and DeSantis talking a counter moves rapidly from just under 3,000 to the current 269,119 count of coronavirus infections in Florida.

“Since the start of this pandemic, Ron DeSantis has followed Donald Trump’s chaotic lead, making Florida a global hotspot for the coronavirus pandemic,” Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo stated in a news release. “Governor DeSantis isn’t on the ballot this November, but the person guiding him through this failed response is. Floridians can and will hold Trump and Florida Republicans accountable at the ballot box for the devastation caused in our state.”

This is the third video Florida Democrats have released in the past couple of weeks. The party said the first two “racked up more than 1,000,000 organic views, likes and shares on FDP’s social platforms.”

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at

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