DeSantis Regrets Not Speaking Out ‘Much Louder’ Against Trump’s Lockdown Policy, Dismisses ‘Animosity’ Between Them

“You cannot fall for the bait. You know what they’re trying to do, so just don’t take it.”

QUICK FACTS:
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said on an episode of the conservative podcast “Ruthless” that aired Friday one of his biggest regrets in office was not speaking “much louder” against the Trump Administration’s calls for lockdowns in the early days of the pandemic, Forbes reports.
  • DeSantis said he believes Trump Administration officials like Dr. Anthony Fauci “panicked” as Covid-19 spread around the U.S. in March of 2020, which led to calls for lockdowns.
  • “And I think it knowing now what I know, then if that was a threat earlier, I would have been much louder,” DeSantis said.
  • However, while Forbes and other left-wing news organizations (here) allege that “tensions are reportedly growing” between DeSantis and the 45th President, the Republican governor rejects such claims as “bait.”
  • When one of the Ruthless hosts noted that the media is “trying to drive a wedge between you and one of your constituents here in Florida, former President Trump,” he asked the Florida governor, “Is there any sort of animosity?”
  • DeSantis dismissed the question, saying, “I think this is what the media does.”
  • “You cannot fall for the bait,” Gov. DeSantis added. “You know what they’re trying to do, so just don’t take it. Just keep on keeping on. We need everybody united for a big red wave in 2022. We’ve gotta fight the left, and not only fight but beat the left. And that’s what we’re doing in Florida.”
DESANTIS ON LOCKDOWN:

“I never thought in February, early March, that (coronavirus) would lead to locking down the country,” the Republican governor told the podcast hosts during the Thursday recording. “I just didn’t. I didn’t think that was on the radar.”

“I was probably the first governor in January of 2020 to call for travel restrictions from China. I supported President Trump when he did that,” DeSantis said. “But we have to take a step back and acknowledge that those travel restrictions just didn’t work.”

LISTEN TO THE “RUTHLESS” PODCAST FEATURING DESANTIS:
BACKGROUND:
  • Trump recently criticized politicians who won’t say whether they have had the vaccine or booster, calling them “gutless.”
  • “Many politicians—I’ve watched a couple of politicians be interviewed and one of the questions was ‘did you get the booster,'” Trump said. “The answer is yes but they don’t want to say it, because they’re gutless. You gotta say it, whether you’ve had it or not, say it.”
  • Gov. DeSantis had refused to say whether he got the booster during a December segment on Fox News’ Morning Futures, The Daily Mail reports.
  • DeSantis is running for reelection this year, and polling shows him with a lead over either of the Democrats he’s likely to face in the general election, Forbes notes.