Donald Trump slams Ron DeSantis for Florida COVID-19 death toll

Former President Donald Trump’s video on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is his latest move against his biggest opponent for the GOP’s 2024 nominee. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

Donald Trump slams Ron DeSantis for Florida COVID-19 death toll

Asher Notheis

May 25, 04:22 PM May 25, 04:22 PM

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Former President Donald Trump has continued to target Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), and Trump is now criticizing the Florida governor over his handling of COVID-19.

Trump said in a video that once the “facts come out” about DeSantis, voters would see that he was superior to most Democratic governors but was “very average, at best” when compared to Republican governors. The video was uploaded a day after DeSantis made his announcement on Wednesday that he was running for president in 2024.


“How about the fact that he had the third-most deaths of any state having to do with the China virus or COVID?” Trump said in a video uploaded to his Truth Social account.

“Even [New York Gov. Andrew] Cuomo did better. He was No. 4. He shut down everything, including the beaches. Other Republican governors didn’t do that. They kept it open. It was their choice. I gave them all their choice. The Democrats blew it big — a lot of Republican governors did a fantastic job.”

It is not the first time Trump has targeted DeSantis over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. He criticized DeSantis over the topic in January for imposing a stay-at-home order during the height of the pandemic in 2020. DeSantis brushed off Trump’s criticism and pointed to his strong performance in the 2022 midterm election as evidence that voters approved of his performance as governor.

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The former president also criticized DeSantis in his video over his feud with the Walt Disney Company, saying that the Florida governor “could have worked out an easy settlement” but that DeSantis wanted to “show the fake news how tough a guy he is.”

“Now thousands and thousands of jobs are being stopped, and a lot of people are very upset about it,” Trump said, seemingly referencing Disney’s decision to cancel a planned central Florida corporate campus, which would have relocated nearly 2,000 jobs from California to Florida.

DeSantis is the latest Republican to join the 2024 presidential race, joining the likes of former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) in running for the GOP’s nomination. The Florida governor is seen by many to be Trump’s biggest challenger for the nomination.

In Iowa, a survey found that Trump held a 42-percentage-point lead over DeSantis with 62% of the vote, while DeSantis had 20% of the vote. The survey, conducted by Emerson College Polling, was conducted from Friday to Monday — just days before Scott and DeSantis launched their presidential campaigns on Monday and Wednesday, respectively.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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