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There’s Some Real Gaslighting on Ron DeSantis and Vaccines

It seems that every time Ron DeSantis does anything newsworthy, the media and its commentators and pundits have to give it so much more national coverage than they would give anyone else, but it's always in a negative light.

It's slight changes in phrasing, the way the information is presented, and how it's shared on social media all play into how the story is supposed to come across before you actually dig into the story. Yesterday, for example, he gave a very forceful plea to Florida residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The response, from blue checks on Twitter and the general reply guys and gals, is basically “Welcome to the party, governor!” as though he hasn't been pushing for vaccines and vaccine distribution since it became available.

The framing of the story by those who don't particularly care for DeSantis is that he suddenly got his marching orders and is giving this press conference, but the framing doesn't match the reality. He has been following the science and pushing for vaccines over the mask mandates because we know that the vaccines work and that masking is nowhere near as effective.

Back when the vaccines were becoming available, there were accusations of racism as DeSantis maintained an emphasis on getting as many vaccines into the arms of senior citizens as possible, in areas that could handle the load. In April, he was attacked for partnering with Publix for vaccine distribution after a 60 Minutes report accused him of pay-for-play when, really, it was the ease of access for everyone in Florida due to the chain's convenient access to almost every Floridian.

So, while DeSantis has been working to get shots in arms, the fact that he didn't give a publicly impassioned speech in the prior couple of weeks, he is being portrayed as just now getting on board with the idea that everyone should be vaccinated.

This is largely national media coverage trying to portray him in a negative light, with some left-leaning major papers in the state following suit. It does not seem to be having much of an impact right now, though, as the people in Florida don't seem to be buying into it. The Morning Consult shows DeSantis is one of the top 10 most popular governors, with an approval rating of 58% to a 22% disapproval.

The press conference yesterday is just the latest bit of evidence that DeSantis is following science rather than the liberal media's idea of what pandemic governance would look like. Take this clip where he rightly goes into the fact that messaging on masks is conflicting with messaging on vaccines.

He is absolutely correct and very clearly following the science – as he's done since the beginning of this pandemic – and while his state is currently under a major wave, it's the vaccine hesitancy, not his administration's actions, that is driving it. So, naturally, he has to push again for people to get the vaccine. It's not his fault the media is genuinely trying ti gaslight Americans into believing DeSantis is only now getting on board with the idea that vaccines are good. They're just ignorant or malicious (or both).

I remain convinced that what the media and its commentators and pundits are doing, whether voluntarily or not, is making Ron DeSantis as viable a contender in 2024 as possible. Even if DeSantis isn't focusing on running for President, his national profile is certainly on the rise with the help of hostile media.

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