Trump Exposes DeSantis’ Fauci Fumble, Florida’s Missteps

As the 2024 Republican presidential primary season heats up, President Donald Trump is pulling no punches, especially regarding fellow GOP candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Trump’s latest revelations on Newsmax TV’s “Greg Kelly Reports” point to DeSantis’ shaky COVID-19 track record and his previous admiration for Dr. Anthony Fauci.

“He loved Dr. Fauci,” Trump stated on the program. He said DeSantis initially “didn’t want to do anything if we don’t have the approval of Dr. Fauci.” Trump also emphasized the governor’s changing stance: “This guy had lines for miles of people getting vaccines, now he pretends otherwise.”

Trump’s expose comes at a crucial juncture for DeSantis, who needs to overcome waning voter support. While the Florida governor started as the second favorite among Republicans, Trump adviser Jason Miller opined that we “saw the death of Ron DeSantis’s campaign” at Wednesday evening’s GOP primary debate. Vivek Ramaswamy, a conservative entrepreneur, has already leapfrogged over DeSantis into the second spot in the latest polls.

The statistics don’t lie. Florida was “third in the nation in deaths,” according to Trump. While DeSantis is now touting an anti-establishment message, let’s remember he implemented lockdowns in his state. Trump, who was in Florida during the pandemic, noted, “His beaches were locked down. His roads were locked down.”

During the GOP debate, DeSantis claimed, “You don’t take somebody like Fauci and coddle him.” But Trump countered, stating DeSantis was a “big believer in the vaccines” and only later modified his tune. “If you check his record, it’s easy,” Trump added, insinuating that DeSantis has been flip-flopping.

Trump was not present at Wednesday’s debate, instead choosing to speak with Tucker Carlson in an interview posted on X, formerly Twitter. His absence was felt, but Trump adviser Susie Wiles said the former president still “won” the debate in “dominating fashion.”

It’s also noteworthy that Trump still leads DeSantis in the polls, even as he faces legal challenges. Roughly 65% of Republican primary voters are considering supporting Trump, compared to 52% for DeSantis, according to a poll by FiveThirtyEight, The Washington Post, and Ipsos.

The political sphere often involves calculated moves, but the clock is ticking for DeSantis. With Trump’s revelations, DeSantis has more to explain and less time to regain trust among conservative voters. While DeSantis may have his eyes set on a future without Trump, he hasn’t convinced the GOP base that he’s a better alternative.