When Florida’s Trump-worshiping Governor Ron DeSantis got medical advice at inconvenient odds with his plans for reopening the state, his surgeon general was suddenly removed from a coronavirus briefing.
April 18, 2020

This morning, Joy Reid played a clip of Florida Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees predicting at a coronavirus press briefing that social distancing will need to continue “probably a year, if not longer” in order to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic until there is a vaccine.

Uh-oh, that is so not part of the DeSantis/Trump playbook! So, like a true Trumper, DeSantis went with politics over science. Right after those comments, we saw video of Rivkees “suspiciously escorted out by the governor’s spokeswoman,” as Reid put it.

We also saw DeSantis advocating for re-opening schools with dangerously false claims like this: “This particular pandemic is one where I don't think, nationwide, there's been a single fatality under 25. For whatever reason, it just doesn't seem to threaten, you know, kids.” He re-opened some beaches in Florida, too.

Reid’s guest, Rep. Val Demings (D-FL), pointed out that this was not the first time DeSantis ignored medical advice. “The same surgeon general declared a public health emergency in Florida on March 1st. Yet it wasn't until April 3rd that our governor decided to issue a stay-at-home order,” she said.

Demings said that one of the 24,000 coronavirus cases in Florida is an infant in her Orange County. “Children all over this nation” have contracted it, too, she added.

“We can get through this pandemic, I have no doubt about that,” Demings said, “But we have to have decisive, smart, strategic leaders who listen to the experts and those experts are people like Florida's surgeon general and other medical experts across this country.”

Good luck with that, Florida!

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.