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National review

Charlie Crist promotes multiple DeSantis COVID conspiracies in governor’s announcement

Rep. Charlie Crist (D., Fla.) Announced on Tuesday that he would challenge Gov. Ron DeSantis to take over as governor of Florida, and part of his pitch is that he will value scientific contributions as governor – unlike DeSantis, who he said attacked the doctors. and scientists ”during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a video launching his campaign, Crist argued that “as COVID claimed the lives of 35,000 Floridians, DeSantis attacked doctors and scientists.” Accompanying her voice was a screenshot of a South Florida Sun Sentinel article detailing how Florida police executed a search warrant at the home of disgraced former state worker Rebekah Jones. Florida should be a place where hard work pays off, fairness is equal, and the odds are before you. It’s a Florida for everyone – and that’s why I’m running for governor. Join us: – Charlie Crist (@CharlieCrist) May 4, 2021 Crist clearly agrees with the view that Jones, who was fired from his data job worker at The Florida Department of Health, due to multiple performance issues, is a “whistleblower” who speaks the truth. Jones claimed she was fired because she bravely resisted the DeSantis administration’s efforts to cover up the state’s true COVID death toll. But according to several state officials, Jones actually objected to routine state policy that required death toll figures to be carefully checked before being added to the COVID dashboard. State. The numbers that Jones said were hidden were added to the scoreboard less than a day after she voiced her concerns. Florida Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz, a Democrat, cautioned against believing in “conspiracy theories” that Jones has repeatedly pushed. Police raided Jones’ home after determining that someone in her home had illegally accessed a state government messaging system to tell government employees to “speak up before 17,000 others” are not dead ”. “They pointed a gun at my face. They pointed guns at my kids, ”Jones tweeted after police raided her home. But Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen said in a statement that “at no time were guns pointed at anyone in the house,” and Jones refused to allow the police to enter for more than 20 minutes, despite a search warrant on the premises. Jones also accused DeSantis of orchestrating the raid, but a spokesperson for the governor said the governor’s office “had no involvement, no knowledge, nothing of this investigation” and added that the investigation had been started before the message connected to Jones. . Crist, whose current congressional district is likely to be redesigned after the 2022 redistribution, has also pushed other unsubstantiated or debunked COVID conspiracies against DeSantis. He promoted a Yahoo article that twisted a study examining Florida’s “excessive deaths” during the pandemic to suggest that DeSantis “is probably hiding thousands of positive COVID cases” – a framing that the study’s lead author said is incorrect. And Crist promoted a now infamous 60 Minutes story that suggested DeSantis had struck a love deal with the Publix grocery chain to distribute vaccines. # 60Minutes made it clear. In @ GovRonDeSantis Florida, the rich have quick access to vaccines. For everyone… it’s the Hunger Games. Floridians deserve better. – Charlie Crist (@CharlieCrist) April 4, 2021 Following the story’s publication, which selectively edited a response from DeSantis, several Democrats – including the mayor of Palm Beach County, on whom the story focused – called it “absolute malarkey” and “intentionally wrong.” In his campaign video, Crist also suggests that DeSantis “handed out vaccines to its wealthy backers, while the seniors waited.” This account is disputed by DeSantis and Moskowitz, the director of emergency management, who point out that the demographic makeup of those vaccinated is a natural consequence of the fact that Florida’s elderly population is disproportionately white. “We are trying to vaccinate as many older people as possible,” Moskowitz told the National Review. “Can a senior who lives in a housing project who might have COVID compared to a senior who lives in Century Village or The Villages, if they get COVID, they both end up in there? potentially hospital in each of their communities. And at this end of the day, we have to vaccinate everyone.


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