Ron DeSantis Caught Promoting Major Kickback For Top Donor

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Issues surrounding Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis are only intensifying. Although DeSantis has long resisted basic safety precautions like mandates to wear face masks amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the governor has recently begun intensely promoting a monoclonal antibody treatment for infection with COVID-19 that’s sold by a company called Regeneron — and as it turns out, a top DeSantis donor’s company has invested millions of dollars in Regeneron, bringing the governor’s motives into question. The top DeSantis donor at issue is Ken Griffin, who works as CEO for the Chicago-based hedge fund, Citadel, which possesses some $15.9 million in shares of Regeneron. Overall, Griffin has donated a whopping $10.75 million to a political committee that backs DeSantis.

The Associated Press notes that it’s “not unusual for hedge funds to have a wide range of investments,” and Citadel is certainly not the only — or the largest — investor in Regeneron, but the amount of money at play here is not small, and recently, “DeSantis ramped up the call for Floridians to seek out monoclonal antibody treatments in August as coronavirus cases spiked,” the Associated Press adds. Recently, Florida has become an epicenter of the latest COVID-19 surge in the United States, with a consistently higher daily average of COVID-19 hospitalizations than any other state in the country — but DeSantis has nevertheless held to his resistance to mask mandates. He has, however, opted to promote these treatments for COVID-19 from Regeneron.

Although as a hedge fund, Citadel has substantial amounts of money — meaning tens of billions of dollars — invested in various interests, the company’s investment in Regeneron is, again, not small, so a boost in the stock price for the company could provide a major kickback for Citadel — and that leading DeSantis donor who serves as the firm’s CEO. Christina Pushaw, who works as a spokesperson for DeSantis, pushed back against questions about Regeneron and DeSantis. She insisted that this “should not be a political issue -– it’s about saving lives,” and while such a stance is obviously great, if the DeSantis administration is so committed to “saving lives,” then why aren’t they promoting safety measures like wearing masks? Masks shouldn’t be a political issue, either, and yet, using a crusade against them as a political ploy is pretty much exactly what DeSantis has done. Thus, his team isn’t exactly in a position to speak authoritatively against politicizations of important issues.