While they are vying for the same top spot in the GOP primary, Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis couldn’t be any more different. One is the epitome of a statesman – tough as nails when he needs to be, but eloquent and intelligent. He employs logical rhetoric to argue his points.
The other is the exact opposite. He expresses his point of view through bombastic oratory and inflames tensions with less-than-persuasive speeches. He utilizes simplistic and often tacky language.
I’ll allow the reader to figure out who is who based on my descriptions.
DeSantis on COVID-19
Nowhere are the candidates’ differences more obvious than in their approach to COVID-19 and how each interprets the events of those two tumultuous years.
DeSantis continues to make this a defining point of his campaign, driving home how Trump listened to the wrong people and made errors that cost the country economically and psychologically.
Patrick Bet-David, the founder of the right-wing outlet, Valuetainment who notoriously offered Tucker Carlson “$100 million over 5 years” to bring his canceled Fox News show to his brand, interviewed DeSantis this week where the two talked about how his COVID policies in Florida varied from Trump’s in the White House.
DeSantis admitted that in the beginning of 2020 when COVID first busted onto the scene there were a lot of unknowns.
“I think there was a lot of uncertainty in March of 2020. The question is, what about November of 2020? December? January?”
When Bet-David asks DeSantis what Trump should have done, the GOP contender doesn’t miss a beat.
“He should have fired Fauci.”
He continues, “He should have held these people accountable for being wrong. For lying to the public on all these different issues.”
Trump has consistently defended the Covid directives under his administration saying that in the beginning “nobody really knew what it was” and eventually he left it up to the state leadership to decide the best policies for their constituents.
Donald Trump’s Rebuttal
The former President claims many other governors did better than DeSantis in regard to managing COVID. In an interview with Megyn Kelly in September, he said both Kristi Noem in South Dakota and Henry McMaster in South Carolina did a better job than DeSantis, not closing schools and businesses.
“He was shutting down everything,” Trump claimed referring to DeSantis. “A lot of these other governors didn’t shut down at all.”
Considering a lot of those other governors didn’t have the same size of a state to manage, nor the same age of the population, which skewed heavily toward the elderly in Florida, of course, Ron DeSantis took a bit more precaution in the beginning. He also was determined to understand the facts of the virus and reopen when the facts didn’t support a shutdown.
Kelly said one of the biggest criticisms of Trump is that he made Anthony Fauci a star to which Trump responded, “You think so?”
Ultimately, DeSantis gets to the point of why this is all relevant, now at the end of 2023.
“Here’s the issue for the election going forward. I’m the only one running that is talking about bringing accountability for what happened to this country during Covid. It’s one thing to make a judgment call that’s wrong, but it’s another thing to ignore evidence, it’s another thing to lie …”
He continues, “When you tell people like CDC did that if you take an MRNA shot you will not get Covid and you still stand by that when it’s obvious that people are getting it. When you’re having the FDA approve an MRNA shot for six-month-old babies where there’s no evidence that that’s benefitting them? This is a swamp. This needs to be cleared out. I will do that.”
While many voters are more concerned about the potential for WWIII and the economy right now – and rightly so – the chaos of the past should not be forgotten. Unsubstantiated COVID policies also cost people their livelihoods and set our country back years in terms of education and even border security, and we’re paying for it now.
Donald Trump wants to gloss over it. DeSantis wants to make sure it never happens again and to change the system that allowed it.
Jennifer Galardi is the politics and culture editor and opinion writer for 19FortyFive.com. She has a Master’s in Public Policy from Pepperdine University and produces and hosts the podcast Connection with conversations that address health, culture, politics, and policy. In a previous life, she wrote for publications in the health, fitness, and nutrition space. In addition, her pieces have been published in the Epoch Times and Pepperdine Policy Review. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
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