Gov. DeSantis says Australians, Canadians ‘looking to Florida for leadership’
Ron DeSantis fires another salvo at 'wokeness.'

DeSantis 2
The Governor keeps mentioning Australia at trade shows for some reason.

Supporters laud him as America’s Governor. But does he really belong to the world?

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said this week that people from as far away as Australia are looking to him for hope when it comes to COVID-19 restrictions, with the Sunshine State “not just inspiring people from around the country, but around the world.”

“How do I know that? Because I have people writing to me from Australia and Canada and some of these places, saying that they’re looking to Florida for leadership, and they appreciate that we’re actually standing and defending people’s rights and liberties,” DeSantis said.

COVID-19 has been linked to the deaths of more than 54,000 Floridians, while a little more than 1,250 Australians have died from the virus. Australia has a population of about 25 million across its vast landscape, about 3 million more people than Florida.

Australians have dealt with aggressive lockdowns this Summer, especially in major cities, and apparently they’ve had some time to do some letter writing while sequestered.

DeSantis made the remarks at the Latin Builders Association’s 40th Annual Awards Ceremony, marking the second trade show in which he decided, for reasons unclear, to wade into unsolicited critiques of Australia’s aggressive approach to COVID-19 mitigation.

“You say, like, ‘It can’t happen here,'” DeSantis said Tuesday in Tampa.

“You know, you guys, look what’s going on in Australia right now. You know, they’re enforcing, after a year and a half, they’re still enforcing lockdowns by the military,” DeSantis said, before posing the question of whether Australia even has the same level of freedom of communist China.

“That’s not a free country. It’s not a free country at all. In fact, I mean, I wonder why we would still have the same diplomatic relations when they’re doing that. Is Australia freer than China, communist China, right now? I don’t know. The fact that that’s even a question tells you something has gone dramatically off the rails with some of this stuff,” DeSantis said then.

DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw later said on Twitter that the Chinese Communist Party is worse than the government of Australia.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, visiting the U.S. for talks with leaders of the U.S., Japan and India, was asked about his nation’s approach to the pandemic during an appearance Sunday on the CBS News show “Face the Nation.”

“Do you think less liberty is medically necessary?” Margaret Brennan, the show’s moderator, asked Morrison. “We have a huge argument over that in this country. Why did you think it was worth it in Australia?”

Morrison defended his government’s stance on COVID-19, adding that restrictions imposed because of the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus are starting to ease.

“That said, we’re still different societies, and in Australia when it comes to public health, we’re a very pragmatic nation,” Morrison said. “And I can tell you the virus doesn’t care what you believe. The virus cares about how it can come and take your life. And in Australia, we’ve introduced what we believe are practical controls that have saved tens of thousands of lives. And I think the proof of those decisions is in the results.”

The Australian, a center-right national newspaper, played up DeSantis’ comment, while noting that Florida has become a target for Democrats and “health extremists across the U.S. for its approach to COVID-19.”

Worth watching: While the Australia verbiage was pre-established Tuesday, the introduction of Canada to DeSantis’ routine was new for Friday’s remarks.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Alex

    October 1, 2021 at 2:38 pm


    That’s past Trump level arrogance and delusional thinking.

    • Bigmoemiami

      October 7, 2021 at 11:34 am

      DeSatan is tooting his own horn like his mentor Trump who loved to take credit whenever the DOW spiked or something good he had nothing to do with happened. Hey Ron, other people have to sing your praises not you. Doofus.

  • PeterH

    October 1, 2021 at 4:33 pm

    “….many people are saying…..”

    Sound familiar??

    • Alex

      October 1, 2021 at 4:48 pm

      And then many, many more people voted to fire his narcissistic, pathologically lying, ignorant, racist ass.


      • Frankie M.

        October 1, 2021 at 7:54 pm

        Surely ye jest? Methinks Ronnie hath delusions of adequacy.

        • Alex

          October 1, 2021 at 8:24 pm

          And sanity.

  • marie

    October 2, 2021 at 5:55 am

    My elderly friends in Canada that winter vacation here, are BS at the level of tyranny. They’re not allowed to visit their homes last winter

    Happy to be a Floridian! FTW

    • Alex

      October 2, 2021 at 7:11 am

      They weren’t vaccinated, and they’d just come from hotspot Floriduuuhhhh where idiot DeAnus wasn’t requiring masks.

      Canada did the right thing keeping them out.

    • Alex

      October 2, 2021 at 7:28 am

      Deaths rates per million;

      US 2107
      Canada 741

      And Canadas inflation rate is 4.1%, US 4.6%

      Canada – how the US should be.


      • Suzie

        October 12, 2021 at 5:34 am

        Australia 50 per million

  • Tom

    October 2, 2021 at 6:58 am

    Marie, don’t share facts or truth with these Manchurian haters. Socialist Alex, weasel liar Peter H, predator org and Frankie are professional America’s Gov. haters.

    No facts, just regular hate they espouse.
    People of Florida support freedom and America’s Gov.

    • tjb

      October 4, 2021 at 9:30 am

      Florida has 6.5% of the USA population, but it has 8% of the USA Covid death rate. How can you say DeSantis is doing a great job with Covid when Florida leads the nation in the highest percentage of Covid death?

    • Greg

      October 12, 2021 at 1:08 am

      Well Tom, tell your “America’s governor to stay the ‘F’ out of our (Australia’s) business. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY in Australia is liiking for leadership of the man who has tragically mishandled the Covid crisis in his own state. Happily keep living in Australia where basically you wont die if you get Covid, to the Hunger Games like dystopian health system in your state

  • Sister Anne de Dubervilles

    October 2, 2021 at 5:17 pm

    I’m not Australian, but if I were, I’d tell DeSantis he is fucking kidding himself if he really believes anyone outside of TrumpWorld sees him as a competent leader.

    • Urgtuiop

      October 2, 2021 at 8:43 pm

      If you were Australian the first thing you would say is De Who? Most people here can point to the bit that sticks out the bottom of the U.S. and say that’s Florida, but local politics is too big a stretch. We know who the pres and vice pres is, anything more than that is asking too much from the average Australian.

      • Rohan

        October 9, 2021 at 7:02 pm

        Rubbish mate. My friends and I read, listen, see and know who he is, what he stands for, and what an existential threat he poses to modern rational secular democracies.

  • Nonnie

    October 2, 2021 at 5:39 pm

    DeSantis is WRONG – dead wrong. Look at his horrific Covid numbers and compare them with Canada’s.

  • Dan

    October 2, 2021 at 6:50 pm

    Australia is practically a totalitarian country now. They got the military locking down cities. Sydney has been in lockdown for like 3 months now. Censorship is extreme. People have literally been arrested for posting criticism against the vaccine on social media. There is talk of vaccine passports being permanent. People aren’t being allowed to visit their families.

    Some of the videos being posted by people there are like out of a dystopian movie. And even in New Zealand people are starting to fight back. Hundreds of protesters today protested new restrictions.

    And Democrats want that here? I think this virus has made liberals lose their intelligence. I’ve never seen such power-hungry, tyrannical, pieces of s*** as liberals are today. I will NEVER vote for a Democrat for the rest of my life. This pandemic has shown their true colors.

    • Urgtuiop

      October 2, 2021 at 8:46 pm

      Great story but I live here and it’s a bogus tail. I figure it’s U.S. local politics mixed with Chinese propaganda trying to create a story about Australia that’s not quite accurate.

      • Alex

        October 2, 2021 at 10:10 pm

        “Dan” is most likely one of the republicans trolls on here.

      • Jerry

        October 3, 2021 at 12:06 pm

        Might want to check out YouTube. They got videos on there of Aussie cops beating protesters. They have videos showing cops decked out in body armor lining streets in front of government buildings. There are Aussies posting videos talking about how their country has gone crazy and that’s its no longer a free country. You want to call this US or Chinese “propaganda,” but they are YOUR people posting that on social media.

        It does look like a dystopian movie.

        • Alex

          October 5, 2021 at 8:19 pm

          YouTube isn’t credible bubba, and there’s a few lunatics everywhere.

          The US just has more, and they call themselves Republicans.

    • Rohan

      October 9, 2021 at 7:09 pm

      Wrong factually. Should I send you photos of my mates at the beach in Western Australia, my relatives chilling in North Queensland, my family out with the dogs in the park today in NSW. You guys appear to be swallowing much misinformation. Better be careful about offending us. Maybe we should pull the plug on the US alliance, close Exmouth and Pine Gap bases, leave the US without bases in SE Asia, and no satellite coverage for a third of the sky between Hawaii and Africa.
      You Desantis fans need to recalibrate and tell him to pull his head in and shut his mouth.

  • rona morrison

    October 2, 2021 at 8:01 pm

    As a Canadian I find it crazy that Desantis ( in his own humble opinion) thinks any Canadian looks to him for guidance. He is full of his own importance and has done terrible job managing covid….so many have died. May the Good Lord have mercy on your country if he gets anywhere near the white house. Democracy is at stake.

  • Urgtuiop

    October 2, 2021 at 8:30 pm

    I only heard of De Santos a few months ago when I started chatting on U.S. news sites like PBS. I don’t think more than a fraction of anyone here in Australia have heard of this guy. Everyone here knows about Florida, basic geography and movies etc but local politics there – nope.

    • PeterH

      October 2, 2021 at 10:29 pm

      DeSantis is a Trump pick for Governor of Florida. We had high hopes …. but with his dangerous, insipid and ridiculous Trump boot licking maneuvers he is plummeting in the polls. He’s turned into a real jerk like most American Republicans! Real conservatives have left the GQP….. they are now independent voters.

      • Jerry

        October 3, 2021 at 11:50 am

        Plummeting in the polls? Which ones? The same ones that said Gillum is going to win in a blowout? The same ones that said Hillary and Biden would win the state handily? Those polls? LOL!

        Florida is about to have more Republicans than Democrats registered to vote for the first time in the history of the state! In 2008, Democrats had a 700,000 voter advantage. Last year it went down to 180,000. Last month it’s down to 24,000. The GOP will have the voter advantage by Christmas.

        You liberals are losing voters by the tens of thousands every month! People moving to Florida are registering as Republicans because they don’t want this state to turn into the liberal hellholes they are fleeing. We got Cubans and Venezuelans immigrating here that want nothing to do with the radical socialism that engulfed today’s Democratic party. Your policies and ideas do nothing but put restrictions on our freedoms and take more of our money. What idiot is going to vote for more taxes and less freedoms?

        And Democrats are also going to lose the US House and Senate. Look at how Pelosi and the far-left are running the country into the ground with these spending bills. Biden’s approval rating is now lower than Trump’s. The southern border is totally out of control and the White House won’t even acknowledge it. Violent crime is soaring nationwide according to a recent FBI report. Inflation is threatening to tank the stock market. The country is politically divided more than ever. And all you liberals can talk about is how we need to mandate the vaccine, ban guns, Critical Race Theory nonsense, and make us more like Australia.

        You Dems are going to get blown out next year!

        • PeterH

          October 3, 2021 at 12:55 pm

          LOL I’m a “never Trump” independent voter! Like many former Republicans …. We’re the portion of the electorate that decides elections!

          California, the sixth largest economy on planet earth, has been a bell weather of America’s future in politics. Republicans place third in California behind Democrats and Independents with a voting electorate of 25%. Texas will turn blue in about 12 years.

          • Jerry

            October 3, 2021 at 6:56 pm

            California? A solid blue, left-wing bastion is a bellwether? LOL!! I’ve never heard that before. Conservatives are moving out of California. They are leaving and going to Texas and even Florida. California for the first time saw a dip in population with the 2020 census. It’s a garbage state loaded with the highest homelessness in the nation, exploding property values, and crime increasing. You know how expensive it is to live in California? A house that costs $300k in Florida costs $800k in California. Not to mention massive taxes. If that’s the future of America, we are going to crash. The country won’t make it.

            And you aren’t no independent. You supporting California-liberal politics. That’s liberal, bro. Let me ask you this, what was the last Republican you voted for President? The elitist neocons (Bush, McCain, Romney) that invaded Iraq? Is that the type of Republicans you like? The fake conservatives that only increase the size of government and only cut taxes for rich people? That’s the Republicans you like?

            Conservationism is about LESS government. Liberals want MORE government. That’s the difference. You claim to be in the middle? So what do you support? The status quo? You think the country is going in the right direction right now? Because polls show about 2/3rds of the country disagree with you and feel we are in the wrong path.

        • joey

          October 3, 2021 at 5:55 pm

          When was the last time that republicans win the popular vote.? If was not for the stupid electoral college you will never win 1 election. More Americans are Democrats and Independants.. You are minority.

          • Alex

            October 5, 2021 at 8:20 pm


  • Lynn

    October 3, 2021 at 11:01 am

    The clown remarks from the liberals on here show how ignorant they are about what’s going on. There’s videos everywhere of people being beaten in the streets in Australia. You’re stupid if you prefer that to freedom. You fools are supporting communism. Wake up!!!!! Understand that you’ve been conned. I’m grateful for Desantis for fighting back. Wish there were more like him.

    • JoAnne

      October 4, 2021 at 7:33 am

      People choose not to see. At some point if this continues, they will see. Communist systems don’t consider anyone their friend. So keep cheering it on people to your detriment.

    • Alex

      October 5, 2021 at 8:21 pm

      YouTube videos?


      No wonder Republicans believe lies.

      • Lynn

        October 13, 2021 at 4:42 pm

        Do some research Alex. People like you deserve communism. The only problem with that is the rest of us freedom loving Americans would have to suffer along with you. So we can’t let that happen. By the way, me along with 214,000,000 other people have recovered from coronavirus. It makes no sense to lock everyone down. Notice no one ever talks about that statistic. How about protecting the most vulnerable and leaving everyone else alone. I could stay locked in my home forever and not have to worry about viruses or car accidents or many other things that could harm me but what kind of life is that?

        • PeterH

          October 14, 2021 at 9:37 am

          Dear Lynn,

          1st. There are 5000 powerless and Partyless communist in the USA. Your mindless rant is a GQP wingnut talking point.

          2nd. No one in America has been “locked down” ….. in the worst of the pandemic when masks were at a premium and designated for hospital workers…..Americans were free to ride a bicycle, drive an automobile, take grandma to the drug store, and go to the grocery store. America’s white collar workers saved our economy and worked from home….. occasionally going into the office for software and laptops.

          So Lynn ….. continue wallowing and living in your cesspool of misinformation. We know you couldn’t care less for the 700,000 Americans who have died because of Republican obstruction and misinformation.

  • Luke

    October 4, 2021 at 7:31 am

    I’m an Australian ‘Republican Equivalent’ living in Australia and I have to say that the notion that the military is locking down Australia is incorrect.

    States control health and each State Premier controls how the lockdowns / restrictions are mandated. Some worse than others.

    The military have no authority over an Australian citizen. None. However they were used to assist the police in asking people to follow a government directive. If the people ignore the military, there are no consequences. They are relying on people willing to comply for the greater good. They cannot arrest of force anyone to do anything. Fact.

    While I don’t like the lockdowns, we’re in a good position at the moment and those restrictions are being lifted in the next week as we reach 70% double vaccination rates.

    We haven’t been in lockdown for the last 18 months. Only when cases spiked for a period.

    With 1200 deaths out of 40,000 cases since the pandemic began and the face we’re nearly ¾ vaccinated, it’s a relative small price to pay to keep many vulnerable people alive.

  • Tom Palmer

    October 4, 2021 at 5:59 pm

    What happened to the Mexico scare? I thought the GOP wanted to make sure dark-skinned people didn’t pollute our voting rollls and our country and our neighborhoods

  • Anna In Florida

    October 5, 2021 at 11:21 am

    The mature approach to anything is to try to look at the situation from the other sides perspective and as someone who is not Democrat or Republican I can see where both sides are coming from but my question for the Republicans is how much freedom is worth dying for (a virus that does not care what party you affiliate with.) You have the avg. life span of Americans (especially Floridians) dropping and younger and younger people are dying in FL every day. Are Republicans just numb to the deaths now and some are even not believing the deaths are actually happening? I am very confused by this.

    • Alex

      October 5, 2021 at 8:24 pm

      They’re angry children who had their Trump taken away.

  • Glenn Hefley

    October 7, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    For the last couple of months — those months being when DeSantis fueled the flames of the virus in his state, Florida averaged 350 deaths a day. All the way through — 350 people died in the state every day. Some days there were spikes to 1200 or more. But every day, 350 children, state workers and hospital staff died from the Covid-19 virus.

    Australia — the country — during the entire pandemic has lost only 1,378 people. Again, that is for entire country for the entire span of the pandemic.

    DeSantis says what is happening in Australia could happen here.

    No, no it can’t. We don’t have a leader in Florida, or in any state for that matter, who could keep us that safe and that prosperous during that kind of horror.

    So, don’t worry. No one will ever confuse Florida for New South Wales.

  • Rohan

    October 9, 2021 at 6:57 pm

    This is so disappointing. We’ve stood shoulder to shoulder with you in every war since WW1, an ally and friend for over 100 years. To be unfavorably compared to China! From an Australian point of view, overall we think Desantis is a misinformed zealot whose public health policies are a disaster. We choose sensible precautions, short term lockdowns pro-vax policies instead of misguided paranoid nonsense. In short, we don’t want or need anything from Desantis except for him to stop dishonestly co-opting and distorting us to serve his domestic interests.

  • Rohan

    October 9, 2021 at 7:35 pm

    News Flash. Canberra, Australia. Sunday. 10:30am. Blue skies, scattered clouds, lovely temperature. The walk to the shops with the dog was fine. No police. No anti-vaxxers. Instead, saw some tennis players, walkers, families, runners, bikers …All wearing masks except for those doing strenuous exercise or sipping their coffees. The postman got a wave from lots of people at the coffee shop for working on a Sunday to keep up with demand. Truly sad. No random gun violence. No opioid crisis. No theocratic state. No disputed election lies. No medical apartheid. No politicised supreme court. Yep, life is just terrible here today…..

    • Suzie

      October 11, 2021 at 3:25 am

      Greetings from Sydney
      Get a grip over there in Florida. Same as Rohan – I went out today – and no army anywhere.
      What you see on the news is rightwing agitators looking for a fight, mostly inspired by groups in USA. Lockdowns are not people locked in their houses – but are mostly travel restrictions outside your own locality and some but not all shops closed, although many have click and collect services.

      We are co-operating with health advice for the benefit of everyone. Compare the figures: There are around 1000 total deaths in the whole pandemic so far – in a country with a population not that different from Florida, which has instead nearly 70,000 deaths in total.
      Lockdowns are currently being lifted across the country. Don’t worry about us – we are doing just fine.

Comments are closed.


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