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Ron DeSantis’ head spinning hypocrisy: Protections for well-connected Republicans, but not Floridians

April 7, 2021

Contact: Damien Filer / 850-212-1858 /

TALLAHASSEE - Less than a week ago, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order banning coronavirus vaccine passports in Florida. DeSantis said it was “completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply be able to participate in normal society."

An email recently sent to attendees coming to a spring donor retreat for the Republican National Committee in Florida later this week said, participants must first "take a COVID-19 PCR or Rapid Antigen test and receive a negative result." The email goes on to say, "Proof of a negative COVID-19 test result is required in order to receive your credentials for the weekend. If you or members in your party fail to fulfill this requirement, you will be denied entry to the 2021 RNC Spring Retreat."

This comes on the heels of his COVID quacks roundtable where DeSantis’ “experts” said masks are harmful despite every credible public health organization from the CDC to DeSantis’ own Department of Health saying the opposite.

“This has been Gov. DeSantis’ pattern since the start of the COVID-19 crisis -- ignore the science, take no responsibility for your actions, and put the health and safety of the wealthy and well-connected ahead of everyday Floridians,” said Mark Ferrulo, Executive Director of Progress Florida.

“In Ron DeSantis’ Florida there are two sets of rules. One for rich Republican donors in gated communities and another for the rest of us,” said Josh Weierbach, Executive Director of Florida Watch. “DeSantis’ donors and political allies got the vaccine first while the death toll mounted in working class communities in our state. And negative COVID tests are there to protect attendees to the RNC donor retreat but vaccine passports ‘reduce individual freedom’ and would ‘create two classes of citizens based on vaccination.’ Well, he’s right about that much anyway.”