Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is now selling branded merchandise featuring slogans like “Don’t Fauci My Florida” in an effort to push back against National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases head Dr. Anthony Fauci.
DeSantis’ campaign store features t-shirts and koozies with the slogan “Don’t Fauci My Florida,” and one koozie with the message “How the hell am I going to be able to drink a beer with a mask on?”
The Florida governor, who, along with former President Donald Trump led the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) straw poll, gained popularity during coronavirus recovery efforts as he allowed businesses in the state to flourish economically.
In February, DeSantis considered Florida to be an “oasis of freedom” amid ongoing coronavirus lockdowns in other states at the time.
“We are an oasis of freedom in a nation that’s suffering in many parts of the country under the yoke of oppressive lockdowns,” DeSantis said. “We see schools closed, businesses shuttered, and lives destroyed.”
DeSantis also pushed back against lockdown efforts in March of this year as he spoke to reporters, telling those in attendance that he would not allow President Joe Biden to “lock down Florida.”
“Biden last night said that they may have to impose more lockdown-type policies in the future. I can tell ya: that ain’t happening in Florida,” DeSantis said at the time. “We are not going to let him lock down Florida.”
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, and the months following, Fauci has faced scrutiny over his recommendations, which, according to obtained emails, included the cancellation of religious services just days before his approval of campaign rallies and cruise ships. Fauci also reportedly described mask wearing as “not really effective” in a February 5, 2020, email to Sylvia Burwell, President of American University and former U.S. Health and Human Services secretary. He also stated that a mask purchased from a “drug store is not really effective.”