Gov. Ron DeSantis returned to Northeast Florida Friday, where he committed to the “lab leak” theory popular on the right., saying it was “almost impossible” that the coronavirus emerged naturally.
The Governor endorsed the theory that COVID-19 emerged because of a leak from a laboratory in Wuhan, China while offering more sharp critiques of Dr. Anthony Fauci and blasting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in remarks after a news conference at an American Legion post in St. Johns County.
In the final analysis, he blamed bureaucrats in both countries for the virus and the response.
“I think now with Fauci’s emails, and you see all of this stuff, it’s pretty clear that a lot of this stuff was fly by the seat of your pants guidance. It was not based on hard data. In fact, there were people who were showing, one pointing out that this thing came from a lab. If you said that a year ago, corporate media said you (were) a conspiracy theorist,” DeSantis said to a crowd in Ponte Vedra Beach.
“Facebook would de-platform you for saying that. Now it’s almost impossible to make the case that it was natural because they haven’t been able to do any linkage, and it’s 15 months plus later. And so the lab leak by far is the most plausible explanation.”
“So we just have to ask ourselves: why were Fauci and all these people sending grants to Wuhan or some of these other places? I’m sorry, that is not an appropriate use of taxpayer money,” DeSantis said. “And when he testified many years ago that doing gain of function research, the risk of having a pandemic is worth doing the research, I disagree with that.”
Conservatives are increasingly connecting that research Fauci knew was happening with the pandemic’s roots, while the White House is downplaying alleged connections. But for DeSantis, the connection is explosive.
“I think this has been a disaster; what has happened. China has covered it up. They need to be held accountable. But the bureaucrats in the United States also need to be held accountable,” DeSantis said.
The Governor went on Fox News Thursday night to blast Fauci for, ironically enough, doing too many interviews during the pandemic. He expressed doubt there that a real investigation would happen in Democratic-controlled Washington D.C.
“We certainly need to be investigating the origins of COVID over this Jan. 6, which is purely partisan,” he warned, “but it will not happen with (President Joe) Biden and the Democrats in charge.”
DeSantis wasn’t finished reprising themes to end the week. He also blasted the CDC for having overstepped its authority for many months, again messaging his lawsuit against the feds as an attempt to “liberate cruise ships from administrative overreach.”
“The CDC closed cruise ships for two weeks last March, and they’re still closed,” DeSantis vented. “They will issue these fiats with no basis in science and certainly no legislative authority to be doing this. So they did a conditional sail order in October, and you physically could not sail the ship under those conditions. And so we were making no progress.”
“The CDC may have a role about enforcing certain things if there’s an outbreak or whatever; I don’t really know how far that authority extends. I know the authority doesn’t extend to mothballing the industry for 15 months,” DeSantis said.
Mediation attempts between the federal government and the DeSantis administration fell through earlier this week, and the Governor was not shy about voicing his displeasure.
“We were basically saying honestly just let them sail, fine.’ But they’re very unreasonable at the Department of Justice,” DeSantis lamented, taking issue with requirements that 95% of cruise passengers be vaccinated as discriminatory against minors
“There’s such little risk most parents are going to decide not to do that because you don’t know what the potential problems are going to be,” DeSantis said to applause.