Gov. Ron DeSantis celebrated the imminent December departure of Dr. Anthony Fauci in an interview Tuesday.
DeSantis has made trolling and baiting Fauci central to his strategy counter-messaging the federal government’s COVID-19 guidance for years. He offered familiar criticisms of the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases during a Fox and Friends hit.
“I think he’s done a lot of damage. I think he should have been gone long ago. And if you think about what he’s done with his arrogance, it’s part of the reason he’s advocated policies that have been so destructive,” DeSantis argued
“He thinks that people who disagree with him are somehow beneath him,” DeSantis lamented, saying Fauci “was never willing to admit he was wrong when it’s clear those policies don’t work.”
DeSantis urged that if Republicans take control of Congress, they should “get to the bottom of everything” related to COVID-19, “particularly Dr. Anthony Fauci.”
Indeed, even as the pandemic has waned in public consciousness, DeSantis has nonetheless targeted Fauci rhetorically, including as recently as this month when he lambasted the doctor not for COVID-19 but for alleged AIDS policy recommendations decades ago.
“We are not going to be like Fauci in the ’80s, claiming that families could get AIDS by sitting and watching TV together,” DeSantis said about monkeypox at a press conference in Rockledge on Aug. 3, where he and state health officials were addressing opioid treatment.
After asking the Governor’s Office for clarification of DeSantis’ reference, they sent a link to a long-form 1983 interview with Fauci where he said the “full extent of transmissibility” of the disease was not known.
The Governor has sold merchandise yoked to Fauci’s “flip flops” on issues, bashed him during interviews for doing too many interviews, and characterized the advisor to seven Presidents as “intimately involved” in New York’s decision to send COVID-19 patients back to nursing homes during the height of the pandemic.