Ron DeSantis heaped praise on Fauci in 2020: report
CNN has unearthed a 2020 statement from Ron DeSantis about Dr. Anthony Fauci, and to say it sounds nothing like the rhetoric the Florida governor is now using to describe America’s top infectious disease expert would be an understatement.
DeSantis, among the most recent entries in the 2024 Republican race, last week assailed Donald Trump over the role Fauci played in the former president’s COVID-19 response.
"When he turned the country over to Fauci in March of 2020 that destroyed millions of people's lives," DeSantis said last week.
But DeSantis was singing a different tune in the early days of the pandemic. The Florida governor heaped praise on Fauci during a March 25, 2020 briefing on Florida’s pandemic response, CNN reports.
“You have a lot of people there who are working very, very hard, and they’re not getting a lot of sleep,” DeSantis said in 2020.
“And they’re really focusing on a big country that we have. And from Dr. Birx to Dr. Fauci to the vice president who’s worked very hard, the surgeon general, they’re really doing a good job. It’s a tough, tough situation, but they’re working hard.”
DeSantis’ 2020 remarks appear to undercut his criticism of the former president’s pandemic response.
“I think [Trump] did great for three years, but when he turned the country over to Fauci in March of 2020 that destroyed millions of people’s lives,” DeSantis said on May 25.
IN OTHER NEWS: Oath Keeper rips 'deranged' leader Stewart Rhodes at seditious conspiracy sentencing
“And in Florida, we were one of the few that stood up, cut against the grain, took incoming fire from media, bureaucracy, the left, even a lot of Republicans, had schools open, preserved businesses.”
During one of his first Iowa campaign events the Florida governor said he would have fired Fauci.
“If you are faced with a destructive bureaucrat in your midst like a Fauci, you do not empower somebody like Fauci. You bring him into the office and you tell him to pack his bags: You are fired,” DeSantis said.