Gov. Ron DeSantis on Saturday argued that media coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic has been “deadly,” specifically the framing of Florida’s coronavirus response.
The Governor made the claim in an interview on Fox News, in an exclusive taped the day before with host Dan Bongino, commenting on what the host called “cheap politics” from the press toward the Governor .
“Well, I think in some respects it’s been deadly to people how the media has been,” DeSantis mused, saying that the media “attacked” him for opening state-run monoclonal therapy sites.
“When we had our summer spike, I rolled out 25 monoclonal antibody clinics,” DeSantis said. “But yet when I did that, the media attacked me. They attacked the treatment because they were trying to score political points. So it’s all about their partisan narratives.”
DeSantis groused that the media would “absolve” governors in other states with COVID-19 spikes, but said he was happy to be in the position he’s in.
“So it’s all politics. But I’ll tell ya, Dan, I’m glad I am a target. Because if you’re doing the right things. You’re standing for the principles that made this country great, they are going to attack you for it. So I view it as positive feedback in a way. Because if I’m over the target, I’m getting things done for my constituents. If I’m leading on these difficult issues and they’re attacking me, that means I’m right.” DeSantis said.
“If they never attack me, you know, as a Republican governor, if they don’t attack ya,” DeSantis added, “that probably means you’re probably not doing very much.”
Florida has seen over 60,000 confirmed deaths from COVID-19, and was dealing with the worst pressures on its health care system this summer as the delta variant wreaked havoc. Yet even as DeSantis “rolled out” the therapy sites, he was conscious of critics in the press corps and the contention that the monoclonal sites came at the expense of pushing vaccinations.
“I disagree with people who say you shouldn’t talk about early treatment because that may cause somebody to say: ‘Hey, I’ll just get the treatment,’” DeSantis said at a news conference in August. “Instead, you got to give them the information and let them make the decisions.”
Fox News viewers weren’t the only conservative cable news watchers who got to see DeSantis hail monoclonal therapy options. Over on the One America News Network, a special from this summer (“America’s Governor and Florida’s Grit”) about the treatment modality was airing yet again opposite the Bongino interview.