Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) hammered White Home chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci on Tuesday, accusing the nation’s preeminent infectious illness professional of dealing “quite a lot of injury” to the nation and People’ livelihoods along with his strategy to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I feel he’s finished quite a lot of injury,” DeSantis mentioned on “Fox & Associates.” “I feel he ought to have been gone way back. And if you concentrate on what he’s finished along with his conceitedness, that’s a part of the explanation why he’s advocated insurance policies which have been so damaging. He thinks individuals who disagree with him are by some means beneath him.”
DeSantis described Fauci because the “driving power” behind a laundry checklist of insurance policies that the Florida governor has denounced, together with masking necessities for schoolchildren and restrictions that “price folks jobs” and “destroyed” companies.
DeSantis’s remarks got here a day after Fauci introduced that he would go away authorities service in December after greater than 5 many years as a doctor for the Nationwide Institutes of Well being.
It was Fauci’s management of the Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Ailments, nevertheless, that made him a family title because the nation was swept up by the pandemic.
All through the outbreak, Fauci acted as a public face for the federal response to the pandemic, usually giving updates and recommendation in an easy type.
Whereas that position earned him the respect of many People, it additionally made him the goal of criticism, particularly from conservatives like DeSantis, who regularly bucked the steerage of public well being consultants and officers and mocked Fauci for the federal authorities’s shifting insurance policies and recommendation on COVID-19.
Fauci’s allies and plenty of public well being consultants have been fast to notice that little was recognized concerning the coronavirus when it first emerged and that insurance policies modified over time as extra data emerged on the virus and its results.
However on “Fox & Associates,” DeSantis knocked Fauci for refusing “to confess he was incorrect” when it turned clear that some federal coverage suggestions “don’t work.”
“When it simply got here out, it was a novel factor, there was quite a lot of data that individuals wanted,” DeSantis mentioned. “So simply admit that a number of the belongings you mentioned had been incorrect. And he won’t do this.”
However in some methods, DeSantis might credit score Fauci along with his political rise. The Florida governor rose to conservative stardom throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by antagonizing public well being officers, together with Fauci, and casting himself as a bulwark in opposition to federal overreach.
That status has helped land the Florida governor on the checklist of potential 2024 Republican presidential candidates. And whereas DeSantis has mentioned that he’s centered solely on successful reelection this 12 months, he’s repeatedly stoked hypothesis that he has ambitions far past his dwelling state.
In current days, he’s stumped for Republican candidates in key battleground states, most just lately for Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania and GOP Senate hopeful J.D. Vance in Ohio.
In his interview on “Fox & Associates” on Tuesday, DeSantis advised that Republicans shouldn’t again away from their concentrate on Fauci regardless of his plans to go away federal service this 12 months.
“I hope if Republicans take management that they are going to resolve every thing, from the origins of COVID to all of the manifest failures of the general public well being institution, notably Dr. Anthony Fauci,” he mentioned.