Ron DeSantis says people are fleeing to Florida because they’re sick of ‘draconian lockdowns’

Governor Ron DeSantis has said people are fleeing to Florida because they are sick of ‘draconian lockdowns’ as the Sunshine State recorded its second highest daily total for new COVID-19 cases. 

DeSantis told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight Tuesday night that Americans are turning to the Sunshine State as a ‘landing pad’ amid the pandemic because it has fewer restrictions put in place to slow the spread of coronavirus.

He also brushed off criticism in the media over Florida’s vaccine rollout accusing some outlets of ‘spinning whatever narrative they think can get ratings’ following his spat with a CNN journalist Monday who asked why hundreds of elderly residents were forced to camp out overnight to get their hands on a shot.  

Right-wing host Carlson joined in and berated liberal news outlet CNN for its ‘attack’ on DeSantis while not criticizing northeastern states like the Big Apple because ‘Chris Cuomo’s brother is running New York’.

DeSantis’ comments come the same day 15,431 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the state – marking its  second highest day on record for new infections.

Another 98 Floridians also died taking the death toll to 22,515 – the fourth-worst in the country – while the state ranks third worst in terms of cases with almost 1.4 million infections since the virus touched down in the state. 

Hospitalizations reached 7,343 Monday, including 1,075 in Miami-Dade, and some ICUS are nearing capacity. 

Governor Ron DeSantis has said people are fleeing to Florida because they are sick of 'draconian lockdowns' in other states as Tucker Carlson blasted CNN for 'attacking' the governor but not New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

Governor Ron DeSantis has said people are fleeing to Florida because they are sick of 'draconian lockdowns' in other states as Tucker Carlson blasted CNN for 'attacking' the governor but not New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

Governor Ron DeSantis has said people are fleeing to Florida because they are sick of ‘draconian lockdowns’ in other states as Tucker Carlson blasted CNN for ‘attacking’ the governor but not New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

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DeSantis boasted that people have flocked to Florida due to its lax coronavirus restrictions.

‘If you look at new home builds, new home starts, if you look at home sales, prices going up. I mean, it’s pretty clear that people are viewing Florida as a landing pad,’ DeSantis said. 

The governor said, though official figures are not yet available to show the influx, anecdotally people tell him they moved to the state because its schools and businesses remained open where other states have shuttered. 

‘You know, it’s interesting, as this went on I would encounter people particularly in September that would move from parts of the country and say ‘look, they closed our schools. Your schools are open. I’m going to come here because you guys are doing it right’,’ he said.

‘So I think there’s been a variety of factors. 

‘Taxes has been one thing but I really do think these lockdowns have driven some people to Florida who just had enough with these draconian, ineffective restrictions.’

DeSantis said that Florida had faired well during the pandemic because people see ‘greener pastures’ in the states.  

‘We are doing very well. Economically, obviously our tourism industry has gotten hit. That’s recovering,’ he said.

‘Home sales are up I think 22 percent year-over-year. People have opportunities in Florida, they are seeing that. 

‘They’re coming here for greener pastures.’  

DeSantis has not issued a mask mandate in the state despite soaring cases, deaths and hospitalizations. 

Over New Year weekend, Florida beaches were packed with maskless revelers partying in Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

The first case of the new more highly contagious variant of the virus was also detected in the state Thursday.  

He also brushed off criticism in the media over Florida's vaccine rollout accusing some outlets of 'spinning whatever narrative they think can get ratings' following his spat with a CNN journalist Monday who asked why hundreds of elderly residents were forced to camp out overnight to get their hands on a shot

He also brushed off criticism in the media over Florida's vaccine rollout accusing some outlets of 'spinning whatever narrative they think can get ratings' following his spat with a CNN journalist Monday who asked why hundreds of elderly residents were forced to camp out overnight to get their hands on a shot

He also brushed off criticism in the media over Florida’s vaccine rollout accusing some outlets of ‘spinning whatever narrative they think can get ratings’ following his spat with a CNN journalist Monday who asked why hundreds of elderly residents were forced to camp out overnight to get their hands on a shot

Meanwhile, some hospitals are warning that ICU beds are almost full as hospitalizations in the state have soared by 1,000 in a single week.  

Dr. Rajiv Bahl, an emergency medicine physician, told WESH2 patients are being admitted at increasing rates in Central Florida and across the country.

‘This is a result of what we believe is the holiday pandemic fatigue when a lot of people got together with families and started to spread this virus a little bit more,’ he said.  

But DeSantis boasted that both fewer restrictions and his strict law-and-order approach is a reason some people have flocked to the state. 

He said the state ‘take[s] law and order very seriously’ and said he would ‘not tolerate a Minneapolis type situation’ which was marked by unrest following the police killing of George Floyd.

‘When I was going on the summer I had the National Guard on standby, we were working with our localities in the state of Florida and you didn’t see, hear what you saw there,’ he said.

Carlson asked DeSantis why he thought he was facing criticism for his role in the pandemic compared to other states in the northeast that the host believes have handled things ‘worse’. 

DeSantis told him he would ‘wear the criticism as a badge of honor if it means that my state has a state in which every parent has the right to send their kid to in-person instruction, everybody has a right to work and a right to pursue their vocation’. 

DeSantis told Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight Tuesday night that Americans are turning to the Sunshine State as a 'landing pad' amid the pandemic because it has fewer lockdown restrictions to slow the spread of the virus. Maskless crowds in Fort Lauderdale Sunday

DeSantis told Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight Tuesday night that Americans are turning to the Sunshine State as a 'landing pad' amid the pandemic because it has fewer lockdown restrictions to slow the spread of the virus. Maskless crowds in Fort Lauderdale Sunday

DeSantis told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight Tuesday night that Americans are turning to the Sunshine State as a ‘landing pad’ amid the pandemic because it has fewer lockdown restrictions to slow the spread of the virus. Maskless crowds in Fort Lauderdale Sunday

In Miami people party over the New Year. DeSantis has not issued a mask mandate

In Miami people party over the New Year. DeSantis has not issued a mask mandate

In Miami people party over the New Year. DeSantis has not issued a mask mandate 

He added: ‘I’m happy for the criticism because, you know what, I don’t seek validation by the media.

‘What I seek is supporting the citizens of my state and I can tell you as this pandemic has worn on, a number of times someone has come up to me with tears in their eyes saying if it wasn’t for you my kid would not be in school and I would not have my job, thank you that is why I’m in this job.’ 

When asked by Carlson if he thinks he would ‘get fair treatment from CNN if your brother had a prime time show on that channel’, DeSantis laughed. 

Carlson was referring to New York Governor Cuomo whose brother Chris has a show on CNN. 

DeSantis accused the network of having an agenda. 

‘Well if ifs and buts were candy and nuts then every day would be Christmas,’ he laughed.  

‘But I think it’s very clear some of these networks obviously, they have agendas. They are doing narratives. 

‘They are not trying to report facts anymore. It’s all about spinning whatever narrative they think can get ratings and that’s just the reality of the situation.

‘So it doesn’t impact me, we are going to continue keeping our eye on the ball and working as hard as we can to deliver results.’ 

Carlson had hit out at both CNN and states including New York and New Jersey earlier in his show.

He claimed the blue states had ‘destroy[ed] every small business in the state and that’s why those states are emptying out and moving to Florida’ but that CNN would not criticise them because of its ties to Chris Cuomo. 

‘Florida, by the way, is leading New York in vaccine distribution as well. And at the same time, as we just noted, people are leaving those two states and moving to the state of Florida, which by the way it is controlled by a Republican and maybe that’s why CNN is enraged by all of this,’ he claimed.

New York is actually leading Florida in terms of vaccine distribution.

The Empire State has so far used up 33 percent of its allocation and vaccinated 1.5 percent of its population. 

Florida has used up 23 percent of its vaccine doses with 1.2 percent of residents having received the shots. 

Carlson joined in and berated liberal news outlet CNN for its 'attack' on DeSantis while not criticizing northeastern states like the Big Apple because 'Chris Cuomo's brother is running New York'. Pictured Governor Andrew Cuomo and CNN host Chris Cuomo (l-r)

Carlson joined in and berated liberal news outlet CNN for its 'attack' on DeSantis while not criticizing northeastern states like the Big Apple because 'Chris Cuomo's brother is running New York'. Pictured Governor Andrew Cuomo and CNN host Chris Cuomo (l-r)

Carlson joined in and berated liberal news outlet CNN for its ‘attack’ on DeSantis while not criticizing northeastern states like the Big Apple because ‘Chris Cuomo’s brother is running New York’. Pictured Governor Andrew Cuomo and CNN host Chris Cuomo (l-r)

On Monday, DeSantis interrupted and clapped back at CNN journalist Rosa Flores at his press conference (above) when she asked about issues with the state's vaccine rollout

On Monday, DeSantis interrupted and clapped back at CNN journalist Rosa Flores at his press conference (above) when she asked about issues with the state's vaccine rollout

On Monday, DeSantis interrupted and clapped back at CNN journalist Rosa Flores at his press conference (above) when she asked about issues with the state’s vaccine rollout

‘They don’t want you to know that Chris Cuomo’s brother is running New York, so instead they attacked the state of Florida,’ said Carlson.  

On Monday, DeSantis interrupted and clapped back at CNN journalist Rosa Flores at his press conference when she asked about issues with the state’s vaccine rollout.  

‘What has gone wrong with the rollout of the vaccine that we’ve seen phone lines jammed, websites crashing- ‘ she asked.

DeSantis cut her off saying: ‘There’s a lot of demand. I mean I think at the end of the day- ‘

The pair started speaking over each other with the journalist saying: ‘If I could just finish my question.’

DeSantis pointed his finger at her and repeatedly said ‘excuse me’. 

‘You’ve just said ‘what has gone wrong?’ So I’m answering the question,’ he fired. 

She replied: ‘If I could complete the question through.’

‘So what are you going to give a speech or are you going to ask a question?’ asked DeSantis. 

Hundreds of seniors were seen camping out in their cars overnight Monday in Daytona Beach in order to get their shots

Hundreds of seniors were seen camping out in their cars overnight Monday in Daytona Beach in order to get their shots

Hundreds of seniors were seen camping out in their cars overnight Monday in Daytona Beach in order to get their shots 

The seniors camped out in the Daytona Stadium parking lot so they could be first in line for at the drive-thru vaccine facility

The seniors camped out in the Daytona Stadium parking lot so they could be first in line for at the drive-thru vaccine facility

The seniors camped out in the Daytona Stadium parking lot so they could be first in line for at the drive-thru vaccine facility 

Just 4.66 million COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across the US in the last three weeks despite federal officials having distributed 15.4 million doses to the states

Just 4.66 million COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across the US in the last three weeks despite federal officials having distributed 15.4 million doses to the states

Just 4.66 million COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across the US in the last three weeks despite federal officials having distributed 15.4 million doses to the states

The journalist tried to complete her question asking why senor citizens were forced to wait overnight for the vaccine. 

After firing back asking if she had ‘investigated why’ the governor pinned the issue on hospitals that told residents it was ‘first come, first served’ leading to an influx of people.

‘We distributed vaccines to hospitals and the hospitals said first come first serve, if you show up, we will do it,’ he said.

Hundreds of seniors were seen camping out in their cars overnight Monday in Daytona Beach in order to get their shots. 

The seniors camped out in the Daytona Stadium parking lot so they could be first in line for at the drive-thru vaccine facility. 

In other parts of Florida, seniors are registering online to get access to the shots.  

DeSantis announced a new policy under which the state will allocate more doses to hospitals that dispense them most quickly. 

Nationwide states are struggling to get shots in arms quickly while cases continue to spread at record rates. 

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