Gov. Ron DeSantis rallied the base in Sanford for President Donald Trump on Columbus Day, but roiled Democrats who charged him with being callous about the coronavirus.
Numerous high-profile members of the opposition party, including past, present, and potentially future statewide candidates, slammed the Governor’s Sanford show-up as a super spreader event in which the Governor was shirking responsibility.
The Sanford rally was Trump’s first rally in his return to the campaign trail since his recovery from COVID-19.
The Governor, it should be noted, was not presenting virus symptoms, though he did rub his nose briefly (H/T: Ana Ceballos of the Miami Herald) after high-fiving people on his way to the stage Monday evening.
Nonetheless, in the heat of the political season and with Trump himself just coming off the DL for COVID-19, Democrats had their say.
“Ron DeSantis showing up at today’s Trump super spreader event in Sanford with no mask and no social distancing is a smack in the face to the 15,000 Floridians who have died under his incompetence,” remarked Chris King, best known statewide as the 2018 candidate for Lieutenant Governor.
“Lil’Trump high fives a line of people at the rally then wipes his nose with the same hand. His wife is trailing along behind him doing the same. Neither one of them have on masks. Over 15k Floridians have died from COVID-19. This is shameful,” added Gwen Graham, a 2018 candidate for Governor.
Senator Annette Taddeo expressed similar sentiments, saying “our maskless Governor is giving high fives. CLUELESS.”
Meanwhile, a Central Florida legislator who is at least mulling a run against the Governor in 2022 had her say.
Rep. Anna Eskamani said the Governor “is giving maskless high fives at a Donald Trump rally in Sanford, meanwhile we’re working on unemployment claim(s) & trying to get people paid their benefits from a system that broke under his watch & is still broken.”
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried likewise expressed disbelief that the Governor would be so cavalier about the novel coronavirus.
“Sometimes there are no words. Just Vote. Vote for the 15,411 Floridians that have died from COVID-19,” Fried, also a potential 2022 candidate, compelled her Twitter followers.
The Governor has flouted social distancing and masking guidelines at these rallies before, including the Jacksonville event last month where he posed for pictures with attendees, up close and personal and free of mouth and nose coverings.