DeSantis fired back at Trump after he said that ‘even’ former New York governor Andrew Cuomo handled the coronavirus pandemic better than California Governor Ron DeSantis, calling the claim “very strange” as Cuomo was involved in the notorious nursing home scandal.
“First of all, Florida had less excess mortality than California or New York. Part of that is because states like California had excess mortality caused by the lockdown policy, which is really, really avoidable mortality,” DeSantis told The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro in an interview.
“But if he thinks Cuomo handled it better, that’s an indication if something like this were to happen again, he would double down and do what he did in March of 2020,” he added.
“We all have to sit here today in 2023, look back on March of 2020 and say, ‘Faucism was wrong. Faucism was destructive. Faucism has set us on this path with the CARES Act and the Fed printing money, creating inflation, and creating some of the economic problems that we have today.”
“So, if you could do it again, would he do the same thing?” DeSantis added. “I sure hope not.”
On Thursday, in a campaign video for the election, Trump said Florida had one of the highest numbers of deaths from COVID-19 in the country.
“How about the fact that he had the third most deaths of any state having to do with the China virus or COVID? Even Cuomo did better, he was number four,” Trump claimed.
However, DeSantis turned the tables when he asked if Trump would have doubled down on Cuomo’s plan if he had a chance to do it over. In March 2020, during the early stages of the pandemic, the democrat leader issued a highly problematic executive order that forced nursing homes to admit COVID-19 patients to free up hospital space and make the numbers look less bad.
But the move severely backfired as the elderly – considered the most vulnerable to the virus, got infected and died in large numbers. The policy stayed in effect until May 10 before it was quietly withdrawn but not before it had done the damage.
According to a study by Empire Centre for Public Policy, Cuomo’s policy was possibly responsible for more than ‘1,000 death’ as it allowed COVID-19 to spread among vulnerable seniors.
The New York State Health Department in a damning report found that Cuomo had ‘misled the public’ and reported fewer death to save his image.
“While the Department’s duty is to act solely to promote public health, we determined that, rather than providing accurate and reliable information during a public health emergency, the Department instead conformed its presentation to the Executive’s narrative, often presenting data in a way that misled the public,” read the report.
DeSantis and Trump are likely to clash more after the Florida governor declared his presidential nomination bid earlier this week.
DeSantis kicked off his 2024 presidential campaign, promising to lead Americans into a new era of prosperity and fight for their rights. Within the GOP, despite Trump’s huge image, DeSantis remains the best hope for anti-Trump forces.
Many in the GOP, in quiet voices, say they are not sure that Trump is the right person to lead the new Republican era.