'They’re going to abuse those powers': DeSantis attacks states for declaring emergencies over monkeypox cases
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) recently criticized concerns surrounding the monkeypox outbreak, including slamming states that have declared the outbreak a medical emergency.
On Wednesday, August 3, DeSantis addressed the mounting concerns during a press conference as he insisted the media and politicians are using the outbreak to stoke fears.
“I am so sick of politicians, and we saw this with COVID, trying to sow fear into the population,” the Republican governor said. “We had people calling, mothers worried about whether their kids could catch it at schools.”
“We are not doing fear,” he added. “And we are not going to go out and try to rile people up and try to act like people can’t live their lives as they’ve been normally doing because of something.”
The Republican governor went on to share his opinion of states' emergency declarations. “You see some of these states declaring states of emergency. They’re going to abuse those emergency powers to restrict your freedom. I guarantee you that’s what will happen,” DeSantis said.
As of Thursday, August 4, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D), have all declared a state of emergency due to the uptick in monkeypox cases.
In wake of the latest outbreak, Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.), who is a contender looking to unseat DeSantis in the Florida gubernatorial race, pushed back with a critical take on the governor's remarks.
Shortly after the press conference, Crist tweeted, “While Governor DeSantis dismisses Monkeypox, at-risk Floridians still need better information, better testing, and access to vaccines for prevention."
Like many other Republican leaders and lawmakers, DeSantis was widely critical of COVID lockdowns and other efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus.