Thomas Massie, Ron DeSantis joke about former Florida Surgeon General getting ‘fired’
Rep. Thomas Massie was a rare voice of opposition to the stimulus bill. [Photo: Associated Press]

However, Scott Rivkees served in his role for months after being pulled from a C19 press conference.

During a rally in Decorah, Iowa, a key Ron DeSantis endorser made light of the Florida Governor’s removal of his former Surgeon General from a press conference during the pandemic but misrepresented his job status.

“One of the most beautiful things I ever saw happen was when he fired his Surgeon General in Florida who was in favor of keeping up the lockdown measures, the masking and the distancing and all that, literally, he was removed from a press conference middle of contradicting the governor. And that’s what we needed to see in the White House,” Rep. Thomas Massie said about Dr. Scott Rivkees on Friday.

The former Surgeon General was not fired, contrary to Massie’s assertion that went unchallenged by the Governor. Yet he was effectively sidelined for months, having been removed from a pandemic roundtable with the Governor just weeks into the state response, but serving for more than a year afterwards without much in the way of microphone time after saying at a year of social distancing may be required given the unknowns about the pandemic.

“We don’t have a vaccine at the present time, so our mitigation measure is the social distancing, six feet away from each other,” Rivkees said in April 2020. “As long as we are going to have COVID in the environment, and it is a tough virus, we are going to have to practice these measures so that we are all protected.”

As Rivkees was out of the public eye, Division of Emergency Management Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kenneth Scheppke frequently appeared with DeSantis during pandemic events.

The DeSantis administration had nothing but kind words for Rivkees when his departure was reported in August 2021.

“We thank Dr. Rivkees for his meaningful work during the most challenging pandemic of our lifetime. We appreciate his service to the people of Florida and wish him the best in his future endeavors,” DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw said in a statement.

Rivkees has voiced qualms about the state that formerly employed him in recent months.

During a July 2023 interview with the New York Times, Rivkees retroactively spoke out about concerns he had with Gov. Ron DeSantis, who became a vaccine skeptic as the pandemic wore on, a move that Rivkees claims came with personal costs.

“These were preventable deaths,” Dr. Rivkees told the Times. “It breaks my heart thinking that things could have turned out differently if people embraced vaccines instead of this anti-vax stuff.”

Rivkees also spoke out to federal officials, the Times notes, including Dr. Deborah Birx about DeSantis’ adviser Scott Atlas and what Rivkees called Atlas’ “let-’er-rip philosophy” regarding COVID-19 mitigation.

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


  • Michael K

    January 5, 2024 at 8:41 pm

    92,000 deaths is funny to these clowns.

    • Kevin Preston

      January 18, 2024 at 6:26 am

      Numbers can be skewed for political reasons.

      People were going to die regardless as well as lifestyle, age and a lot of other health factors. They also counted those who died “with” covid even it were a car accident.

      What happened happened.

      Your main concern should be at how other local governments took advantage of that situation as well as where the virus actually came from.

      • rick whitaker

        January 18, 2024 at 11:42 am

        kevin preston, you anti science morons are a dangerous group. hopefully with the demise of the trump cult , you people will go back into the woodwork. 2 of my neighbors died of covid because they didn’t have faith in science.

  • MH/Duuuval

    January 5, 2024 at 11:21 pm

    Second-term Dee would’ve fired Rivkees, but first-term Dee still had a thimble of faith in modern medicine that remained. With denier Ladapo on board, that is no longer the case.

  • My Take

    January 5, 2024 at 11:37 pm

    How many grandmas did DeSScamus kill needlessly with his posing and grandstanding?

    He should never be forgiven.

  • Jojo

    January 6, 2024 at 7:42 am

    And now we have Surgeon General Lobodomy….great

  • MH/Duuuval

    January 6, 2024 at 8:51 pm


    Even better than firing someone at the top. Does anyone know how many folks died of COVID in KY? 92K have died in Florida.

  • Kevin Preston

    January 18, 2024 at 6:15 am

    Me and my obese wife both had covid and it was nothing.
    I do not say that for any other reason but to testify “our” experience.

    I also never seen mass graves or crematoriums working around the clock.

    I have yet to see one shred of evidence of anything other than the lock downs and hysteria of what did turn out to be 100% nothing.

    8+ billion people on the planet and even if 8 million died that is not a killer of civilization. Especially when so many other diseases and viruses are so much worse.

    Again, the “lock downs” and elevated state powers that eroded voting rights, allowed those in authority to physically subdue and beat citizens and all the while getting caught doing things that the every day “pleb” was not allowed.

    I also love the comments above about hoe DeSantis this and that.
    How many in other states lost everything thanks to their local governments while Florida thrived.

    If you got a shot and it worked out for then great but stop dumping on other peoples rights because the only thing I witnesses as how desperately you wanted to take them.

Comments are closed.


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