FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2021
Contact: Damien Filer / 850-212-1858 / Damien@ProgressFlorida.org
TALLAHASSEE - Gov. Ron DeSantis recently convened a roundtable of handpicked “experts” to provide him with political cover for his failure of leadership during the pandemic that has so far infected more than 2 million Floridians and left more than 33,000 dead.
Top five most absurd and outrageous claims made by DeSantis’ “experts”:
- Lockdowns are the single biggest public health mistake in history
- Contact tracing is a completely wrong strategy
- Masks are harmful
- Every school should be opened with no restrictions
- Children shouldn’t wear masks for their protection or others’
“If this was a story in the Onion or a skit on Saturday Night Live it would be hilarious,” said Josh Weierbach, Executive Director of Florida Watch. “But unfortunately, it’s our real governor making real policy that’s having real and deadly consequences for our families.”
Of course, it didn’t come up during the more than one hour long roundtable that every credible public health organization from the CDC to the World Health Organization to DeSantis’ own Department of Health stresses that people should wear masks.
Another thing that didn’t come up during the roundtable is the fact that, according to DeSantis’ own Department of Health, there have been more than 92,000 COVID cases related to K-12 schools in the last seven months.
You know what else didn’t come up? Florida has so far paid $4 million of your tax dollars through an emergency no bid contract to a New York company to do contact tracing in Florida. But wait, you ask, didn’t the DeSantis experts say contact tracing is a “completely wrong strategy”?
That’s right, they did.
So, what’s the missing link. Well, it turns out the company is owned by the son of a major Trump donor. So, DeSantis’ politics have him denouncing contact tracing out of one side of his mouth while at the same time paying millions of your tax dollars to a company to provide contact tracing in Florida. All to appease Donald Trump.
DeSantis’ COVID quacks included Professor Sunetra Gupta, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, Dr. Martin Kulldorff and Dr. Scott Atlas.
Yes, this is the same Scott Atlas who when he served as a senior adviser to Donald Trump put forward a herd immunity theory a renowned infectious-disease expert called “the most amazing combination of pixie dust and pseudoscience I've ever seen"; the same Scott Atlas who called on Michigan to “rise up” against Democratic governor Gretchen Whitmer who was the target of a kidnapping plot; and the same Scott Atlas whose own faculty senate at Stanford University passed a resolution against him saying Atlas’ “disdain for established medical knowledge violates medical ethics defined by the American Medical Association,” and that Atlas' “behavior is anathema to our community, our values, and our belief that we should use knowledge for good.”