Critics are accusing CNN of playing politics and spinning the success of ‘booming’ Florida, which defied typical Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, as having nothing to do with Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“Everyone told me I was wrong,” DeSantis said this week at a fundraiser about pandemic lockdowns. “I faced continued pressure from radical Democrats and the liberal media, but I refused to back down. It’s clear: Florida got it right.”
While many states are just beginning the process of reopening businesses and rolling back pandemic-era restrictions, Florida has been open for the better part of the last year – and even CNN has had to admit it is “booming.”
“A year into the pandemic, Florida is booming and Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is taking credit,” a Wednesday CNN headline read.
While the story acknowledges DeSantis’ success in the face of more lockdown-friendly governors like Andrew Cuomo and Gavin Newsom – each now facing their own controversies – critics accused both the headline and the article’s content of downplaying DeSantis’ role for political purposes.
“DeSantis’ gamble to take a laissez faire approach appears to be paying off – at least politically, at least for now, as other governors capturing attention in the opening phase of the pandemic now face steeper challenges,” CNN’s story reads, later giving space to Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Florida), an ex-governor of the state, who could be soon challenging DeSantis.
“It’s a mixed bag, to be candid,” Crist said of the situation in Florida during the pandemic, noting over 30,000 deaths from Covid-19 have been reported there.
Cases of Covid-19 per capita in Florida stand slightly above the national average – three percent more – but the death rate from the virus is lower – eight percent less. With over 32,000 deaths, the death rate per capita overall is 24th in the nation.
Many on social media pounced on CNN’s framing of Florida’s success and their seeming outrage over the idea that DeSantis is “taking credit.”
“This tweet and article is a really sad attempt to spin positive news as either flat out negative or totally indicative of how bad it’s going to get,” Tablet Magazine editor Noam Blum tweeted.
“Has he written a book?” writer Jeryl Bier added, referencing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo publishing and promoting a book on his leadership during the pandemic back in October.
A lot of media outlets tried desperately to smear DeSantis for his handling of coronavirus but eventually you just can’t argue with the facts.
— Drew Holden (@DrewHolden360) March 17, 2021
Like this story? Share it with a friend!