TALLAHASSEE, FL – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is raising eyebrows this week as he unveiled new merchandise on his official reelection campaign website that openly mocks Dr. Anthony Fauci and his support for COVID-19 lockdowns and mask-wearing.
Currently on DeSantis’ website, supporters can purchase t-shirts ($21) and blue beer koozies ($12) emblazoned with a “Don’t Fauci my Florida” logo.
Other t-shirts on DeSantis’ campaign website include ones that say “Keep Florida Free” and “I Love My Gov,” in addition to hats and flags bearing a “Governor DeSantis – Keep Florida Free” logo that looks conspicuously similar to Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” presidential campaign logo.
Another notable piece of merchandise is a red beer koozie that comes inscribed with an infamous DeSantis quote dismissing the need for mask-wearing: “How the hell am I going to be able to drink a beer with a mask on?”
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DeSantis, who is currently serving his first term, is running for reelection as Florida Governor in 2022; however, the rising star in the Republican Party is also potentially eyeing a run for the White House in the 2024 presidential election and is considered a GOP frontrunner if Donald Trump decides not to run.
Since the inception of the pandemic, DeSantis has become a well-known and very vocal opponent to the strict COVID-19 restrictions – such as mandatory mask-wearing, business closures, social distancing, and stay-at-home orders – and a staunch critic of Dr. Fauci. Instead, DeSantis has stated throughout the pandemic that he favored personal responsibility and protecting the state’s economy.
Throughout the pandemic, DeSantis notably bucked official guidance and kept most schools and businesses in Florida open, drawing the ire of heath experts but the support of those who felt that the nationwide lockdown measure were too draconian.