Like most Republicans, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has made no secret of his dislike for President Biden’s senior medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci. And now, he’s taken his war on Fauci to the next level.
Just recently, his website began selling anti-Fauci merch, complete with koozies, hats, and t-shirts noting DeSantis’ disdain for the media’s favorite medical expert and reminding people of how his state did not play by Fauci’s rules last year.
One of the koozies reads “How the hell am I going to be able to drink beer with a mask on?”, which is a now-legendary remark DeSantis made to a reporter back in February when some of the Usual Suspects were pitching a fit because he was seen at the Super Bowl not wearing a mask. On the other side of it is a picture of DeSantis opening a beer. One of the t-shirts has the outline of Florida with wording beside it that reads “Don’t Fauci my Florida.”
NEW TODAY: Our team just dropped EXCLUSIVE merchandise on our brand-new @WINRED storefront.
Trust us… You don’t want to miss out on this. 👀
— Team DeSantis (@teamrondesantis) July 12, 2021
As per the norm, the merch has triggered DeSantis’ foes on the left, including the Washington Post:
DeSantis sells “Don’t Fauci My Florida” merch as new coronavirus cases near highest in nation https://t.co/o6ynzwcHr9
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) July 14, 2021
… and MSNBC wacko Joy Reid:
Siri: show me an ignorant ghoul… https://t.co/EtqkV3FM7z
— Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid 😷 (@JoyAnnReid) July 14, 2021
Fauci, who was central to former President Trump’s coronavirus task force even though both were frequently at odds, has spoken in highly favorable terms in the past about how New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo supposedly handled the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak despite evidence to the contrary, while bashing Florida’s drastically different response to the pandemic as dangerously reckless and irresponsible, even as some of DeSantis’ Democratic critics were acknowledging that DeSantis may have gotten it right.
Last month, DeSantis blasted Fauci, noting that “I think now with Fauci’s emails … it’s pretty clear that a lot of this stuff was fly by the seat of your pants guidance. This was not based on hard data.” During a music festival last month, DeSantis told a Florida crowd that the state “chose freedom over ‘Fauci-ism'” with a “message for other states and other countries [to] open your states, open your schools, let people live their lives, don’t make them wear masks.”
He also took shots at both Fauci and Cuomo in June interview, saying that “to pick Cuomo [as a liberal hero], the guy’s had a lot of problems. And then they elevated Fauci to basically sainthood, and yet we’ve seen Fauci’s been wrong about so many different things, and clearly he wasn’t honest with the American people about the origins of COVID.”
While DeSantis has not formally declared his intentions to run for reelection, all signs point to it happening, and this merch will only further fuel speculation that in addition to running for reelection next year he’ll eventually throw his hat into the ring in the 2024 presidential race.
As they say, stay tuned!