Florida Governor Ron DeSantis — a Republican and vocal Trump supporter — did not take kindly to a question from a reporter this Saturday about the late Georgia Democratic Congressman John Lewis, who passed away on Friday. Lewis was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement who worked tirelessly for decades on issues like voting rights for black Americans, and reporter Elizabeth Landers asked DeSantis in the wake of Lewis’s passing for his take on monuments to the Confederacy — or she tried to, at least. DeSantis lashed out, pompously proclaiming in response to the reporter that he “appreciates” the question but wanted the conversation to stay on topic. It’s a major national story happening in real time, and DeSantis acted like a simple question about it was some kind of insult to his dignity.
DeSantis bitterly told the reporter:
‘I appreciate the question, but we’re trying to focus on the Coronavirus, so — I appreciate it, but I’m gonna let someone ask about — you, do you have a question about the topic at hand?’
Towards the end, he pointed to another reporter who was on the scene when he began discussing a potential question about the “topic at hand.”
Check out the video below:
A reporter tried to ask @GovRonDeSantis about the passing of John Lewis, race, and confederate monuments today in Florida, and this is how he reacted.
I have no words. pic.twitter.com/dEsXvbOSoh
— Kevin Cate (@KevinCate) July 18, 2020
He seemed desperate to get away from the subject. In the past, DeSantis’s total and complete support for Trumpism has been well-documented — he even released a campaign ad in which he helps his kids build a wall out of blocks in reference to Trump’s plan to build a wall on the southern border.
More recently, it’s worth noting that he has definitely not taken the Coronavirus seriously, no matter his self-righteous ranting in response to a simple question. There’s not even a statewide mask-wearing mandate in place in Florida, although the state has consistently suffered huge daily numbers of new cases and deaths throughout the latest wave. Over 5,000 Floridians have died — a grim point that the state hit after months of DeSantis refusing to take the virus as seriously as the situation demanded. Now, staggeringly, DeSantis seems to desperate to escape responsibility that he’s alleged that “the media stopped asking about coronavirus in May and is to blame for the public becoming complacent and cases rising,” as CNN summarizes.