This week, the political action committee (PAC) known as Remove Ron — which targets Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis — shared an image on Twitter this week of a plane flying over Florida holding a message going after the governor. DeSantis has recently faced criticism for what’s been perceived to be his relative inaction amid the latest surge of COVID-19 in his state, which has yet again been setting records for one-day totals of new cases of the virus. As of this Thursday, DeSantis had not held a press conference about COVID-19 since significantly earlier in December. The banner showcased by Remove Ron proclaims that “Florida is on fire and Ron is missing.” Check it out below:
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, a Democrat, recently spoke on a similar note, saying that “all Florida residents should be outraged and they should ask the question, Where is our state? Where is our governor? Where is Ron DeSantis now? When was the last time you saw the governor do a press briefing regarding COVID-19?” Even if rates of death from COVID-19 seem on the downswing because of improved abilities to treat the symptoms of the virus and because of less severe illnesses in certain cases due to vaccinations in the patients, getting sick with the virus can still leave lasting damage. According to The New York Times, the 7-day average of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Florida hit nearly 3,000 on Wednesday of this week, and wouldn’t any reasonable governor of a state with 3,000 people hospitalized from a contagious disease want to remain on the front lines of the fight against it?
— The ReidOut (@thereidout) December 30, 2021
Troublingly, DeSantis is considered by some to be a potential Republican presidential contender, in the event that Trump opts not to run again in 2024 after all (or in a future election cycle). DeSantis has proven throughout the pandemic that he’s not interested in pursuing the best-documented approaches against the virus. On the homefront, he is facing mounting Democratic challenges for the 2022 governor’s race, including a campaign from current state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. Congressman and ex-Florida Governor Charlie Crist (who served in that latter position as a Republican before changing his affiliation) is also running.
I beg of @GovRonDeSantis: release these tests immediately to local governments, and set up state-run testing sites.
To let them expire is negligent, or heartless. pic.twitter.com/VF2T8w1HCo
— Commissioner Nikki Fried (@NikkiFriedFL) December 30, 2021