WINTER HAVEN, Florida — Corporate media are “lockdowners” who have continued to advance an “anti-Florida” narrative throughout the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, but Florida’s “rational” approach has proven successful, particularly in terms of “quality of life, education, and economy,” Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview on Monday.
Breitbart News has continued to track the number of new cases of the Chinese coronavirus in both Florida and New York, the latter of which the establishment media heavily praised throughout the pandemic last year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) data, however, has shown the Sunshine State consistently reporting fewer new cases of the virus per capita than blue New York, despite DeSantis’s administration prioritizing personal liberty, opening the state while refusing to implement a statewide mask mandate.
When asked about this phenomenon, DeSantis told Breitbart News the corporate media, specifically, has attempted to advance an “anti-Florida” narrative from the beginning. Nevertheless, the state continues to wield positive results for Floridians, as well as others who are fleeing blue states under Democrat leaders who are continuing to embrace restrictive policies.
“Corporate media, they are lockdowners. They supported lockdowns, and they always supported lockdowns. They obviously support blue state governors over red state governors. What Florida has done was basically completely challenge the narrative,” DeSantis said, explaining his administration largely ignored the “talking heads on some of these cable places” and instead did “what the data was telling us to do.”
“Quite frankly, it’s not just about COVID. I mean, you have a society here you have to protect. I mean, kids being in school. People being able to work. People have rights and people have freedoms and so we respected those,” DeSantis continued, explaining how coronavirus mortality has recently been adjusted in a way that, again, shows the success of Florida’s approach.
“They did age-adjusted COVID mortality because, you know, we have way more elderly as a percentage. Age-adjusted COVID mortality — 40 states are higher than the state of Florida for the whole pandemic, and yet we’re one of only a handful of states where only 100 percent of the parents have the right to send their kids to school in person,” the governor said.
“And then we have a right to work and a right for businesses to be open regardless of what any local government wants to do. And the result is, our unemployment is 4.7 percent,” he said, noting it is below the nation’s status at six percent and emphasizing the importance of getting the cruise industry back in the state.
“The federal government continues to close the cruise lines. It’s one of my major industries. So imagine if we had the ships sailing, our unemployment rate would probably be four percent,” he surmised. “So we did better on COVID having a more rational approach, and we did way better on quality of life, education, and economy.”
As a result, a trend has emerged of blue state residents flocking to the Sunshine State. When asked if he held concerns about blue state residents moving to Florida and continuing to vote for Democrats, DeSantis took a different approach, observing that the people moving are those who do not seek to replicate blue state policies. Therefore, he concluded, the trend could benefit Florida in the long run.
“You know it’s interesting. Because of the corporate media, they’ve had an anti-Florida narrative from the beginning. So if you’re somebody that lives in like New York City and all you do is read the New York Times and watch NBC and CNN, you would think Florida’s done like the worst,” he said.
“So I do think the migration has been somewhat self-selecting in the sense of, these are people who, by and large, reject those narratives. And so the people that are most likely to accept the narratives are going to be the ones that would more likely want to replicate blue state policies,” DeSantis explained.
“But I actually think the effect has been, a lot of those folks, they think Florida’s doing bad. The people that see through that, which I think a majority of the public sees through these narratives,” he added.
“They’re the ones that say, ‘Oh, I got to get to Florida, this is great.’ So you always look, because our state’s always very dynamic, but I actually think it’s probably going to end up being a benefit because I think a lot of the people who are most opposed to lockdowns are the ones that were most likely to come to Florida over the last year,” the governor said.