MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - JANUARY 06: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis listens as Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava speaks during a press conference about the opening of a COVID-19 vaccination site at the Hard Rock Stadium on January 06, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. The governor announced that the stadium's parking lot which offers COVID-19 tests will begin to offer COVID-19 vaccinations for residents 65 and older to drive up and get vaccinated. The vaccination site opened today for a trial run but it was not announced as to when it will be open to the general public.

Source: Daily Wire News

Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis said during a Fox News interview on Sunday that while other states have been focused on locking people down that he has been focusing on lifting people up and that people do not believe the media’s demonization of the way that he has handled the coronavirus pandemic because “people vote with their feet, and they are flooding into this state.”

“Well, you look around the country, and they still are debating whether schools should be open. We’ve had schools open the whole year, they talk about whether businesses should be open, every business in Florida has a right to operate,” DeSantis said. “They talk about all these people unemployed in Florida, every single person has a right to earn a living. And our unemployment rate is lower than the national average. Even though we’re so tourism-dependent, that market hasn’t recovered at all. Our COVID though, we have less COVID mortality per capita than the national average 25 states or higher. So the lockdowns don’t work on their own, but they cause catastrophic damage to society. So we’ve been able to do as other states have tried to lock people down, we’ve tried to lift people up.”

“And I’ll tell you, every time I go out, someone will come up to me and say, my kid wasn’t doing well, thank you for getting them back in school or my business would have failed, thank you for saving us or I would have lost my job,” he added. “Those effects are going to make this state so strong going forward. And I think had we tried a different course that has not worked in other places, I think it takes years and years to be able to recover from the damage.”

When asked about why he thought the media criticized his handling of the pandemic while they praised New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, DeSantis said it all came down to their partisan agenda.

“Well, look, they have a partisan agenda. And I think it was an election year, they did not want the president to carry Florida,” DeSantis said. “I think the fact that the President endorsed me when I ran for governor, you know, means that they want to do that. So they had a narrative. And their narrative is whatever that helps them advance their political, it doesn’t matter about the facts. They don’t care about the facts. In fact, they will ignore facts that are inconvenient for their narrative, and even concoct conspiracy theories as to why the facts aren’t doing it. So I think they’ve done a horrible job with what they’ve done.”

“But here’s the thing, people aren’t buying it,” he continued. “Because people vote with their feet, and they are flooding into this state, we have investment coming in. We have people buying homes like never before, we have the fact just the fact that we have schools open, people are leaving in every corner of the state just because we have schools, we had sports, we’ve had sports going on the whole time, I have parents who have moved their kids to Florida because they didn’t want to miss football season, which they would have in some of these lockdown states. And so I think that there’s the narratives that some of the corporate elite media tried to sell, people don’t buy it. And this is a perfect example. Because if people bought their narratives, you’d have people leaving here to go to the states that are supposedly doing so well.”

DeSantis was also asked about running for president in 2024, to which he would not give a specific answer, but he did leave the door open.

WATCH:

PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT:

FOX AND FRIENDS: Welcome back to Fox and Friends. Welcome back to Tampa, Florida home of Super Bowl 55. We’ve been talking to you all weekend about the state of Florida, the state of being open, the state of freedom, and experiencing it here down in the sunshine state. The man responsible for that is Governor Ron DeSantis, in large part keeping this state open and I’m pleased to be joined now by the governor himself. Governor DeSantis, good to have you.

RON DESANTIS, GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA (R): Welcome to Tampa Bay and welcome to the great state of Florida.

FOX AND FRIENDS: Thank you. Now I want to point out to the audience something when he says he’s a Bucs fan. He’s not being a typical politician running to the front. Taking the popular position. You’re from this area. You grew up a Bucs fan.

DESANTIS: Yeah, so when they had the orange uniforms, when they were kind of the joke of the NFL, played at the old sombrero, the visiting team would usually have more fans than we would have. So I was a supporter. And yeah, we were able to win a Super Bowl in 2003, which was great. But we’ve had some lean years and so to be able to be here and hosting the Super Bowl with the Bucs in it with Tom Brady at the helm, there’s a lot of excitement here in the Tampa Bay area.

FOX AND FRIENDS: Absolutely. I’ve made the case, by the way to bring back those creamsicle uniforms. I think they’re beautiful. I’m gonna get your prediction in just a moment. But let’s talk about being open. I’ve experienced it. I’ve been out and about in Tampa this entire weekend, your state’s been open. This isn’t the first championship you’ve hosted, not the first big event you’ve hosted. Tell me about you opening this state up and what it’s meant for the economy and whether or not it’s been a success.

DESANTIS: Well, you look around the country, and they still are debating whether schools should be open. We’ve had schools open the whole year, they talk about whether businesses should be open, every business in Florida has a right to operate. They talk about all these people unemployed in Florida, every single person has a right to earn a living. And our unemployment rate is lower than the national average. Even though we’re so tourism dependent, that market hasn’t recovered at all. Our COVID though, we have less COVID mortality per capita than the national average 25 states or higher. So the lockdowns don’t work on their own, but they cause catastrophic damage to society. So we’ve been able to do as other states have tried to lock people down, we’ve tried to lift people up. And I’ll tell you, every time I go out, someone will come up to me and say, my kid wasn’t doing well, thank you for getting them back in school or my business would have failed, thank you for saving us or I would have lost my job. Those effects are going to make this state so strong going forward. And I think had we tried a different course that has not worked in other places, I think it takes years and years to be able to recover from the damage

FOX AND FRIENDS: Maybe decades, maybe decades. In fact, the data is clear, you know, it’s come in, hospitalizations, transmissions, mortality combined with the economics of being open. But then that leads me to this, and I don’t know that there’s an easy answer to this question, but outside of a few places, the national media is largely used you as a point of criticism while celebrating governors like Andrew Cuomo. Why do you think that is in the face of all that evidence?

DESANTIS: Well, look, they have a partisan agenda. And I think it was an election year, they did not want the president to carry Florida. I think the fact that the President endorsed me when I ran for governor, you know, means that they want to do that. So they had a narrative. And their narrative is whatever that helps them advance their political, it doesn’t matter about the facts. They don’t care about the facts. In fact, they will ignore facts that are inconvenient for their narrative, and even concoct conspiracy theories as to why the facts aren’t doing it. So I think they’ve done a horrible job with what they’ve done. But here’s the thing. People aren’t buying it. Because people vote with their feet, and they are flooding into this state, we have investment coming in. We have people buying homes like never before, we have the fact just the fact that we have schools open, people are leaving in every corner of the state just because we have schools, we had sports, we’ve had sports going on the whole time, I have parents who have moved their kids to Florida, because they didn’t want to miss football season, which they would have in some of these lockdown states. And so I think that there’s the narratives that that some of the corporate elite media tried to sell, people don’t buy it. And this is a perfect example. Because if people bought their narratives, you’d have people leaving here to go to the states that are supposedly doing so well.

FOX AND FRIENDS: You’ve talked about voting with their feet, by the way, are you going to try to translate those into votes for presidency, you got run for president 2020.

DESANTIS: We got a great Governor’s election in 2022, which will be very important for our state. And quite frankly, I think, you know, it gives us the ability to keep the momentum going. So that’s what we’re focused on focused on governorship.

FOX AND FRIENDS: But is that a node running for president?

DESANTIS: That’s a we have 2022 to worry about.