CNN’s Chris Cuomo opened his show on Monday with a series of mocking jabs at Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for attacking the press and prematurely boasting about how well his state has handled the coronavirus pandemic.
On May 20, after a White House meeting, DeSantis memorably lashed out at the press over his decision to quickly re-open his state, taunting the media that worries over a possible spike in coronavirus rates in his state had never materialized.
“You got a lot of people in your profession who waxed poetically for weeks and weeks about how Florida was going to be just like New York,” DeSantis said, angrily gesturing at the press corps as Vice President Mike Pence silently stood alongside him. “Wait two weeks, Florida’s going to be next. Just like Italy, wait two weeks. Well, hell we’re eight weeks away from that and it hasn’t happened.”
Seven weeks later, however, Florida is suffering from the surge in Covid-19-related hospitalizations and positive cases that many feared, and rolling back beach openings and re-closing restaurants as it set a singly-day record on Saturday with nearly 10,000 new coronavirus cases.
After playing the clip of DeSantis’ White House tirade, Cuomo mimicked the Florida governor’s gesticulations before calling out the premature victory lap. Cuomo is the younger brother of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has also sparked outrage and sharply criticized for how he handled the outbreak in that state.
“What now? Not going to hear him here. You won’t see him here. Why? Because he’s got nothing to say,” Cuomo snarked. “When he had a chance to speak, he spoke too soon, he did too little, and now his state is suffering too much. New York’s peak and daily cases was in what, April? The five-day average of daily cases hit almost 10,000. Terrible. Things here still aren’t great. We’re just moving in the right direction. Florida health officials reported nearly 10,000 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, its highest single day since the start of the pandemic.”
“He made Trump happy, Governor DeSantis did, and now more Floridians than they can count accurately appear to be sick,” Cuomo added, alluding to a claim from the state’s former top Covid-19 scientist that the DeSantis administration is “cooking the books” on the outbreak. “More than half our states have growing cases now. Sixteen are currently having to pause or roll back re-openings because they did not do the right things the right ways. Texas, parts of California, bars have been directed to close back down. The Secretary of Health and Human Services says the window is closing for us to get this right. Even Pence, who you saw silently by Desantis’ side as he spewed nonsense — seems to be his strongest asset as an ally — even he is now saying you should wear a mask. That’s good since he’s the head of the coronavirus task force. It’s bad that he is only saying so now.”
“But the really ugly reality is that Pence still sat there and enjoyed this maskless choir of more than 100 singing on Sunday,” Cuomo noted. “It doesn’t matter if you’re singing songs to the Lord. There is no commandment that ‘Thou shalt do stupid things in my name and get Covid.’ The main commandment, if you care, if you believe, was to ‘Love one another as I have loved you.’ Keep your distance. If you can’t, keep your mask on. Wash your hands. At this rate, there is a real chance that quarantine may become the reality for more of us in this country. And for many of us, here is the scary part, a second time. It is possible you may see me in my basement once again. Why? Because this isn’t about being scared, this is about scaring us straight with the facts.”
Watch the video above, via CNN.
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