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MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell compared the response of Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., to Hurricane Ian to his handling of COVID-19 in his state and wondered if he was “taking the position” of the Dr. Anthony Fauci “of this hurricane warning.”
O’Donnell said DeSantis had stepped up in a “standard” way as Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida, with the governor warning Floridians that the hurricane was dangerous and could “easily kill people” if they remained in place.
“It is a very, very different approach then he had to the murderous coronavirus hitting Florida where he was doing exactly the opposite and telling people that there was nothing to worry about, they didn’t need masks, they didn’t need vaccinations, they didn’t need any protection at all. Is there any sense that he is now taking the position basically of the Doctor Fauci of this hurricane warning?” O’Donnell asked Florida Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried during “The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell” Wednesday night.
Fried said Florida gets hit with hurricanes every year, on a “consistent basis.”
“When it comes to hurricanes, we all put aside politics. This is something that we all come together, we step up to the plate,” the DeSantis political opponent said. “This is a time where we put politics aside, we work together across the aisle and it is important as always to show leadership to make sure that you’re transparent and providing as much information as possible.”
She also added that the hurricane was a “test of a governor.”
“So far right now, we are getting through it, as flood always does during hurricanes. We are going to have a tremendous large aftermath of clean up, restoring of property, and we are gonna have a lot of people who are going to be displaced for the foreseeable future,” Fried said.
DeSantis warned on Wednesday afternoon that the 200,000 power outages in Florida that occurred before Ian made landfall were just “a drop in the bucket for what’s going to happen.”
Fried ran in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in Florida and lost to Charlie Crist, who will face off against DeSantis in November.
She has been critical of DeSantis and told Fox News that he was “creating havoc” in Florida.
Hurricane Ian weakened to a tropical storm on Thursday morning, but it is continuing to cause catastrophic flooding in east-central Florida as it heads northeast.