DeSantis Says Experts Were ‘Wrong About Almost Everything’ With COVID-19

Jeff Louderback
By Jeff Louderback
March 17, 2023COVID-19

Three years after President Donald Trump announced a set of CDC guidelines on 15 days to “slow the spread” of COVID-19, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said on March 16 that government officials are “still clinging” to failed policies that were enacted during the pandemic.

During a press conference in Winter Haven, Florida, that he titled “3 Years to Slow the Spread,” DeSantis told reporters that multiple problems that currently exist are a result of how the federal government and many state governments responded to the pandemic.

The issues DeSantis discussed included inflation, companies struggling to find and retain employees, supply chain challenges, mental health impacts, and business closures, among others.

DeSantis also criticized COVID-19 mask and vaccine mandates, and “historic education declines” from school shutdowns.

Experts did not do what the evidence said, DeSantis explained, and Florida was “one of the first states to see that the experts were getting it wrong.”

“We resolved to chart a different course. We were not going to let this state descend into a Faucian dystopia—not on our watch,” DeSantis said, referencing Dr. Anthony Fauci, who was director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases from 1984 to 2022, and chief medical adviser to the president in 2021 and 2022. “We took a lot of different actions to make sure that we could liberate the state from Fauciism.”

A National Emergency

Trump declared the coronavirus pandemic a national emergency on March 13, 2020.

On March 15, 2020, several states issued stay-at-home orders.

A day later, Trump released a set of CDC guidelines for Americans to follow for 15 days to “slow the spread” of COVID-19.

At the time, he said that the coronavirus outbreak might be able to get under control in the United States by July or August at the earliest.

Fauci suggested that Americans may be able to return to normalcy before midsummer.

The White House guidelines “are a 15-day trial guideline,” Fauci said on March 16, 2020. “It isn’t that these guidelines are going to be in effect until July.”

On Jan. 30, 2023, the Biden administration announced that the treatment of COVID-19 as a national emergency and a public health emergency would end on May 11.

President Joe Biden said in September that the pandemic was “over” but that the virus still posed a threat.

And now, “we’re here looking at this three years out, and it’s important to say the experts that designed these policies and they were wrong about almost everything,” DeSantis said.

“They were wrong about lockdowns,” he added, noting that Florida was among the states that re-opened early in the pandemic and that “we were attacked mercilessly, because we were doing that.

“The lockdown policies did not work. And they were destructive, particularly in the states that clung to them, and school closures that were supposed to stop the spread but in reality had very minimal impact on that, but it had a huge negative impact on the well-being of our youth.”

The CDC “at one point said that if you wear masks COVID would end in six weeks,” DeSantis said. “That was in 2020. They said that and that was not true.

“They were wrong to deny the existence of natural immunity. That’s just a fact of life when you recover from something like that you do get protection, and they said no on natural immunity for a long time. They even tried to say that natural immunity is inferior to mNRA vaccines, which was not based on solid data.

“And the question though, is why did they do that? I think the reason that they did that is because the whole infrastructure they were trying to impose on society [was] to control your behavior,” he continued.

‘A Refuge of Sanity’

Florida “bucked the COVID-19 orthodoxy” and “used commonsense policies to become a refuge of sanity” during the pandemic, DeSantis said.

“Federal vaccine mandates and restrictions were never about protecting Americans from a virus, they were exercising control at the expense of the American economy and the American way of life.”

“In Florida, we did not abdicate our leadership decisions to DC bureaucrats,” he added. “Instead, we bucked the bureaucrats by ensuring kids could be in school, Floridians could go to work and businesses could thrive.”

Florida kept businesses open during the pandemic and “saved countless jobs in the state,” DeSantis said.

If Florida had followed the policies of other states, many businesses “probably would have failed,” he added.

In the first post-COVID National Assessment of Educational Progress, Florida ranked three and four in fourth-grade reading and math, DeSantis proclaimed.

Florida’s Gross Domestic Product rose 23 percent more than the rest of the country, DeSantis noted, adding that Florida is the “fastest growing state” in the United States.

In 2022, Florida recorded “record setting” tourism, even with “some of the international restrictions” that were imposed on air travel.

“And our excess mortality increased less than California and New York, states that obviously pursued a much different course,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis also talked about the “hypocrisy” of the reactions to protests across the country in 2020.

Black Lives Matters (BLM) protesters were encouraged to occupy the streets after George Floyd’s killing by Minneapolis police in the summer of 2020, while Americans who gathered to demonstrate against lockdowns and mask mandates were punished, DeSantis noted.

“Even though they’ve gotten hundreds or thousands of people together, that was fine. They [Democrats] actually wrote a letter saying this,” DeSantis said.

“And in the same letter they said it’s fine to protest with BLM but that does not mean it’s okay to protest against lockdowns or other things that you may [oppose]” he added, before drawing laughter when he said, “So, this was presumably a woke virus.”

Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo praised DeSantis and said the “direction” Florida went under DeSantis’ leadership during the pandemic was “absolutely correct.”

‘The Right Decision’

“It was the right decision to get the kids back in school; it was harmful to the kids to keep them out of school. It was the right decision to encourage people to do what they want based on their tolerance for risk, their preferences, their values, how [and] who they wanted to spend time with,” Ladapo said. “That was the right decision.”

DeSantis has taken a strong stance against COVID vaccine mandates, another decision that Ladapo supports.

“Three years ago, we were told there were 15 days to slow the spread, and today, with nearly 100 percent of the American public having contracted the coronavirus, the federal government continues to rely on fear and manipulation to peddle vaccines that don’t prevent transmission,” Ladapo said.

The mRNA COVID vaccine has a “terrible safety profile” and “at this point, “I’m not sure if anyone should be taking them,” he said.

“The media, they work overtime to rewrite reality to make people believe that what is happening isn’t actually happening. These vaccines have a terrible safety profile,” Ladapo said.

The most “consistent thing” the CDC and FDA have done is “deny the truth,” he added.

Fauci, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, and doctors at the FDA did not make decisions that were in the best interest for Americans, Ladapo said.

“I don’t know what the hell they’re prioritizing. But it is not your well-being, and it’s not my well-being. It’s someone else’s agenda. And that’s unfortunate,” he said.

“That’s not something that we’re doing here in Florida, not under the governor, not under the Florida Department of Health.”

COVID-19 responses in Florida were the “right things to do, whether or not people want to admit that, or not,” Ladapo added.

“The decisions that we made prioritizing the fact that people or humans should be respected for their preferences and their ability to make decisions.”

From The Epoch Times

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