During a press briefing Friday, Florida governor Ron DeSantis (R.) slammed the U.S. government agencies and individuals responsible for managing the COVID pandemic, namely Dr. Anthony Fauci, for issuing contradictory guidance that wasn’t supported by scientific evidence.
A trove of Fauci’s email correspondence from the last year was recently released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). In one email, Fauci admitted the dubious efficacy of mask-wearing for protecting against COVID infection, despite publicly imploring Americans to wear face coverings in most venues and settings for the better part of the year.
“I think now with Fauci’s emails . . . it’s pretty clear that a lot of this stuff was fly by the seat of your pants guidance. This was not based on hard data,” DeSantis stated.
“This bureaucracy needs to be brought to account. You can’t have a bureaucracy that’s just going out and issuing these rules on the fly. They literally said, ‘If you’re sunbathing on a cruise ship you have to wear a mask.’ Really? I mean, give me a break,” he added seemingly in critique of the CDC.
The governor criticized legacy media’s strict adherence to the accepted COVID orthodoxy in 2020 and neglect of intellectual openness that might give way to other competing, compelling explanations. He lambasted the tech companies’ censorship of those who discussed the lab-leak hypothesis of COVID’s origin on the internet.
“In fact, there were people who were showing, one pointing out that this thing came from the lab. If you said that a year ago, corporate media said you were a conspiracy theorist,” he said. “Facebook would de-platform you for saying that.”
DeSantis recently enacted legislation that would financially penalize social media platforms that suspend the accounts of politicians or remove certain political content.
Referencing the former scientific consensus that COVID organically jumped from animals to humans, DeSantis said, “Now it’s almost impossible to make the case it was natural because they haven’t been able to do any linkage and it’s 15 months plus later. The lab leak is by far the most plausible explanation and so we just have to ask ourselves, ‘Why was Fauci and these other people [sic] sending grants to Wuhan and these other places?’”
DeSantis condemned the United States’ alleged history of partially funding gain-of-function research, or scientific experiments conducted on diseases in a way that renders them more infectious, transmissible, or deadly. Some members of the scientific community, as well as prominent Republicans, have asserted that the virus may have escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology via a lab accidentally while these high-risk experiments were being performed.
“I’m sorry, that is not an appropriate use of taxpayer dollar money. When he [Fauci] testified many years ago that doing gain of function research, the risk of having a pandemic is worth doing the research, I disagree with that. I think this has been a disaster. . . and China’s covered it up, they need to be held accountable. But the bureaucrats in the United States also need to be accountable for what they did,” DeSantis concluded.