Ron DeSantis rips Donald Trump’s ‘pathetic’ explanation of Anthony Fauci commendation
The Donald Trump administration is calling Florida ‘a very dangerous place’ for its COVID-19 spike. Image via AP.

Trump DeSantis
'Was that the immaculate commendation that just happened to happen?'

COVID-19 wars continue in the 2024 presidential race between Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump.

During an interview on the Steve Deace Show, the Florida Governor lampooned the President’s disavowal of a late-term presidential commendation he granted to Dr. Anthony Fauci.

“Of course he did give Fauci a presidential commendation his last day in office. Megyn Kelly asked him about it,” DeSantis said. “What was that? Was that the immaculate commendation that just happened to happen?”

Kelly raised the Fauci commendation as a point of criticism Republicans have raised, and asked Trump to answer for it.

“Ah … I don’t know who gave him the commendation,” Trump told the talk show host Wednesday. “I really don’t know who gave him the commendation.”

That dodge didn’t sit well with DeSantis.

“I thought it was really pathetic to sit there and listen to that drivel,” DeSantis told Deace. “It is totally false.”

Though Fauci is no longer part of the federal government, having left his position as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and as the chief medical advisor to the President, DeSantis continues to make blasts of the doctor central to his Primary pitch.

“I was born and raised in Florida. And while I’ve always loved the state, we didn’t have the same type of pride growing up that, say, people in Texas have about Texas. And yet in the last few years, particularly since I’ve been Governor, we’ve developed that pride and I think a lot of it is rooted in the fact that we told people like Fauci to take a hike during COVID,” DeSantis told Russell Brand in July.

Though the Never Back Down super PAC is not legally allowed to coordinate with DeSantis’ campaign, it also has helped to reinforce this messaging. An ad from the spring called “Steel” is predicated on a central image: a picture of a White man in a hard hat watching Trump and Fauci talking COVID-19 mitigation strategies.

Fauci was also a recurrent motif during DeSantis’ re-election campaign, with merchandise such as “Freedom over Fauci flip-flops” marketed to the faithful in 2022.

“Fauci doesn’t care about doing what’s right or using even basic common sense. He’s too caught up in TV interviews, magazine covers and the adulation and acceptance from elitists that he’s likely craved his entire life,” the Governor wrote in an email last year entitled “Permanent Faucism.”

Fauci served as a punching bag during more than one surge of COVID-19, and the Governor’s team found a merchandise opportunity there as well. When the delta variant strained hospital capacity in Florida, DeSantis’ political committee released merchandise lampooning Fauci, including “Don’t Fauci My Florida” beer koozies and T-shirts.

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


  • Debra Hughes

    September 14, 2023 at 4:08 pm

    Dear Gov. DeSantis stop living in the past.

    • Earl Pitts "The Big Voice On The Right" American

      September 14, 2023 at 7:54 pm

      Good evening America,
      Its about time the young stud “The Ronald” popped the oldster grampa Trump in the nose. Keep it up Ron smack the old feller again!!!

      • Beverly Brevity

        September 15, 2023 at 1:50 pm

        Very good, Earl, short and to the point (like another part of you?).

    • Sigmund Freud

      September 15, 2023 at 2:03 pm

      It appears he lives in a mostly imagined past, as it happens. The weaker, more vulnerable mind is capable of comforting itself with a fictionalized recollection of one’s own place in the world of times passed, be it a recent past or long ago. His recollection of the relatively recent Covid epidemic is a textbook example. And I wouldn’t be surprised if he imagines himself having been the finest boy in his first grade class, or even the finest first grader ever. I do hope he will continue to speak freely, it is fascinating to observe.

  • Rosalina

    September 14, 2023 at 4:36 pm

    Just shut up and research if what is actually given patients are vaccines being outdated.

    • Joe

      September 15, 2023 at 3:22 pm

      You wouldn’t know research if it came up and introduced itself to you. RepubliQans are sheep.

  • My Take

    September 14, 2023 at 4:56 pm

    So says the hirer of Dr. Laquacko.

    • Silly Wabbit

      September 15, 2023 at 1:50 pm

      Two kwazies.

  • Rick Whitaker

    September 14, 2023 at 5:39 pm

    we all know desantis is a fool and a science denier, what’s new?

    • Silly Wabbit

      September 15, 2023 at 1:51 pm

      He kwazy!

  • R. Desantis, Fauci's #1 fan

    September 14, 2023 at 6:39 pm

    COVID history revisionist says what?

  • John Thomas

    September 14, 2023 at 7:17 pm

    “You knew damn well I was a snake” -Donald Trump-

  • Hung Wiil

    September 14, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    This is long overdue. I have been advocating for the Governor to use Covid, Fauci, lookdowns, and mandates as the lead issue. It may be too little too late, but it is a step in the right direction. Those who were fooled and duped by the government and media on Covid, you know who you are.

    • My Take

      September 14, 2023 at 7:45 pm

      The avoidable ďead unfortunately don’t know who they are.
      Thank “Get Grannie to the Graveyard*” DeathSSantis
      *And off Social Security and Medicare.

    • Ocean Joe

      September 15, 2023 at 8:02 am

      We’ll never know how things would have turned out with no lock downs, masks, etc. We do know hospitals were overwhelmed, not enough beds or ventilators, morgues also, with corpses stored in refrigerated trucks. Way too many folks died prior to the vaccine. Many paid a high price and still do with long covid, and with our current inflationary status.
      Quite a few preacher types who discouraged their flock from getting protection wishing otherwise on their death beds.
      Pretty gruesome.
      Hydroxychloroqine and Ivomectin didn’t help.
      Monoclonal antibodies were used AFTER the individual was already in trouble.
      Make it an issue and maybe Desantis finally drops out.
      He’s young, healthy and went to Harvard, Yale, and got the vaccine. Does that tell you anything?

    • Sweet Angelina

      September 15, 2023 at 1:32 pm

      Long overdue? What prison have you been locked up in? Governor Asswipe has been using this BS for the last two years or more. Hey, if you don’t want to get the vaccine that’s fine with me. Florida is currently leading the nation in Covid hospitalizations, but there’s still plenty of room for fools like you.

    • Silly Wabbit

      September 15, 2023 at 1:48 pm

      You kwazy.

    • Joe

      September 15, 2023 at 3:20 pm

      Lol here’s Tiny D’s guy Hung Wiil, calling out the man in the mirror — “fooled and duped on Covid,” we definitely know who you are, angry and uneducated GQP voter.

  • Michael K

    September 14, 2023 at 7:45 pm

    Florida has one of the highest per-capita COVID death rates in the nation. Our governor seems proud of the 80,000+ deaths and long-COVID impact on tens of thousands of families in Florida – lives he considers dispensable.

    He is promoting ignorance and rejecting science just to win over a handful of MAGAt votes. Ask him if he and his wife are fully vaccinated.

    • John Thomas

      September 14, 2023 at 8:16 pm

      Ask Trump

    • Fernando Faraldo

      September 15, 2023 at 11:52 am

      Sure everyone that died past due to COVID, wake up or hush up, hospital where saying COVID COVID COVID for a sore throat. Give it up leftist fauci is a liar. Go Ron give them hell specifically to disney woke

      • Silly Wabbit

        September 15, 2023 at 1:34 pm

        You kwazy.

        • S. Wabbit

          September 15, 2023 at 1:34 pm

          Stewpid, too.

      • Joe

        September 15, 2023 at 3:17 pm

        Doesn’t somebody need you to fix their radiator, Fernando? You’re certainly not making any sense here.

  • Elmo

    September 15, 2023 at 7:16 am

    DeSantis lives in an alternate reality. The only Florida pride he speaks of relates to his Proud Boys and Nazis. DeSantis has made living in Florida a huge embarrassment for many.

    • Earl Pitts "The Big Voice On The Right" American

      September 15, 2023 at 8:42 am

      Good mornting Elmo,
      As you know Ron recently released the facts that he’s not going to cancel gay marriage. Couples like yourself and Bert are hearing the rally call to get on board the 2024 – 2028 Desantis team. We welcome you and Bert and would like you guys to make some vidio ads supporting Desantis. You and Bert will get a nickel each time one of our Desantis you-tube adds is watched.
      We just knew you guys would want to get in on the ground floor of all the LBGTQ+ pride communitty “Rainbow Wave” rushing to support The Desantis Team. If you guys sign with us prior to October 15th we will bump your youtube take up by 2 & 1/2 cents per view. Thats a full 7&1/2 cents, Elmo, do the math, talk it over with Bert and jump on board.
      Welcome to the winning team Elmo,

  • Sigmund Freud

    September 15, 2023 at 1:39 pm

    “He’s too caught up in TV interviews, magazine covers and the adulation and acceptance from elitists that he’s likely craved his entire life,” the Governor wrote…
    The finest example of psychological projection that I have witnessed in years! This must be included in future text books for Psychology 101. It is fundamentally instructive.

  • Sigmund Freud

    September 15, 2023 at 1:47 pm

    “…particularly since I’ve been Governor, we’ve developed that pride…”
    Another magnificent specimen for Psychology 101: delusional aspirations. This man belongs in a laboratory for 24 hour a day observation, he is a font of classic aberrations.

  • Joe

    September 15, 2023 at 3:14 pm

    This angry pipsqueak (and the rest of his GQP ilk) will literally never get over their hurt feelings from the Covid era. What a bunch of whiny ignorant babies.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704