Gov. Ron DeSantis continued his virus victory tour Thursday night, with a Fox News Channel hit celebrating that a roundtable full of anti-lockdown scientists he described as some of the “top experts in the world “had endorsed his “approach” to COVID-19 mitigation.
DeSantis told host Laura Ingraham of the Ingraham Angle that the roundtable, held in Tallahassee Thursday, was intended to “take stock” into what had worked and what had not.
“It was important to take stock into — OK it’s been a year, there have been been different policy approaches, which approaches have been successful,” DeSantis said.
The event included a number of controversial scientists, including Dr. Scott Atlas, among the most controversial members of the Trump administration’s White House Coronavirus Task Force, and someone who DeSantis has brought to the state before to endorse his policies.
DeSantis contrasted Florida to “lockdown” states in his comments to Ingraham.
“The lockdown approach, where people are constantly beat over the heads with these directives, where you have massive unemployment, where you have closed schools for a year in some of these places, not only has it been absolutely destructive to these societies, the COVID results per capita have been worse,” DeSantis said.
The Governor added that “these are some of the top experts in the world being able to validate that Florida’s approach was the proper approach and the lockdown approach is a failed approach.”
The interview covered other topical issues also. The Governor defended his willingness to stand up against local mask fines, such as in Miami.
DeSantis said “we have local governments that do certain things, but the reason so many of those places are booming is that I came in many months ago and said every Floridian has a right to work and every business has a right to be open. As soon as we did that, we started to see those places really thrive.”
The Governor also defended his proposal to spend virus relief money on civics education that counters so-called critical race theory.
“I don’t want our curriculum to be politicized. It’s not about smuggling in your political agenda,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis on Wednesday in Naples rolled out the Civic Literacy Excellence Initiative: an ambitious proposal to use $116 million in one-time money from the CARES Act funded Elementary and Secondary School Relief Fund.
This spend would, in theory, make Florida “the national leader in civics education.”