TALLAHASSEE, FL – A new ad that is meant to be highly critical of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ COVID-19 policies has – in contrast – been successful at making him look good to his base, as well as those who are in opposition to states with stringent pandemic measures.
Paid for by a left-wing PAC (political action committee) known as “Remove Ron,” which is campaigning against DeSantis’ 2022 reelection bid, the ad attempts to parody the dark and dystopian “The Purge” film series by depicting Florida as a grim and foreboding state without any COVID-19 restrictions whatsoever.
In the ad, passengers in an airliner are informed that they have just entered Florida’s airspace and that they would now be watching a “short message from Governor Ron DeSantis on COVID-19.” The message, displayed on each passenger’s TV screen, shows various clips of DeSantis reciting his opposition to pandemic measures such as business lockdowns, mask-wearing, vaccination passports, and vaccine mandates while a tense, horror movie score plays in the background.
However, many who watched the ad commented that the quotes from DeSantis – including saying “We’re not doing any vaccine passports in the state of Florida” and “We trust people to make their own decisions in this state” – were considered to be excellent talking points for both the governor’s supporters and those who are against restrictive COVID measures looking to either vacation in or move to Florida.
Comedian and actor Matt Walsh tweeted, “I like DeSantis even more now. Thanks for this.”
Twitter user Tom Elliot noted that, “DeSantis should buy airtime and run this ad himself.”
And DeSantis’ press secretary, Christina Pushaw responded by poking fun at it, tweeting “What scares Very Online Liberals the most: The freedom to think for themselves. ‘Governor DeSantis is the worst… he forces us to make our own decisions! As if we’re responsible adults with rights!’”
Florida has been known as one of the U.S. states with the least restrictions against the pandemic, and DeSantis has been equally praised by some and heavily criticized by others over his response to it.
To date, there have been over 50,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Florida since the pandemic began. As of an April 1, 2020 recording of the census, Florida is home to 21,538,187 people with approximately 20.9% of which are persons 65 years and over.