Progressives are expressing outrage online over new merchandise being sold by Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that celebrates freedom — and also happens to mock lockdown advocate Dr. Anthony Fauci.
What are the details?
DeSantis' campaign team announced on Twitter this week that fans could show their support for the conservative governor by purchasing gear online displaying the phrase, "Don't Fauci My Florida."
For $12, supporters can buy a navy blue koozie brandishing the slogan, or for $21, they can buy a black shirt displaying the phrase alongside a Florida logo.
NEW TODAY: Our team just dropped EXCLUSIVE merchandise on our brand-new @WINRED storefront. Trust us… You don’t wa… https://t.co/NSvgsIVBGl— Team DeSantis (@Team DeSantis)1626120121.0
Other purchase options include hats and flags that say "Keep Florida Free" or a red koozie saying, "How the hell am I going to be able to drink a beer with a mask on?"
The gear is clearly intended as a jab against the draconian lockdown orders and mask mandates instituted across the country over the past year, measures that were often promoted by Fauci.
In Florida, DeSantis took a different approach, allowing residents of his state to retain their constitutionally enshrined freedoms while still combating the virus.
While discussing Florida's budget recently, the governor noted that his state's promising financial outlook would not have been possible "if we had followed Fauci," adding, "Instead we followed freedom."
What was the reaction?
While Team DeSantis' new merchandise push will certainly be a hit with Republicans, progressives immediately trashed the move online.
Anna Navarro, co-host of ABC's "The View," blasted DeSantis for "exploiting and profiting off the pandemic," calling the new merchandise "irresponsible and shameful."
.@ananavarro criticizes Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ campaign for ‘Don’t Fauci My Florida’ merchandise, calling it “e… https://t.co/qBYCagA6IA— The View (@The View)1626279151.0
The Washington Post published a smear piece on the governor, suggesting that the sale comes as "new coronavirus cases [in the state] near highest in nation."
Responding to the story on Twitter, Miami-Dade Democrats wrote, "Over 38k Floridians have died of COVID and @GovRonDeSantis thinks it's appropriate to sell merch mocking their deaths. We can't let this continue. We must elect a Democratic Governor in 2022."
Over 38k Floridians have died of COVID and @GovRonDeSantis thinks it's appropriate to sell merch mocking their deat… https://t.co/T4XhCc4eYK— Miami-Dade Democrats (@Miami-Dade Democrats)1626269923.0
Former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean added, "DeSantis is a well educated crackpot with no allegiance to our country, his constituency or the truth."
DeSantis is a well educated crackpot with no allegiance to our country, his constituency or the truth. https://t.co/7FAuKNEJrG— Howard Dean (@Howard Dean)1626261291.0
Climate advocate Erin Brockovich wrote, "Gov DeSantis you have an environmental catastrophe evolving on the Gulf Coast outside of Tampa — maybe selling anti Fauci merch isn't the best use of your time?"
Gov DeSantis you have an environmental catastrophe evolving on the Gulf Coast outside of Tampa — maybe selling anti… https://t.co/PFRAOyVr2l— Erin Brockovich (@Erin Brockovich)1626276963.0
"So who's sick and dying from #COVID19? Unvaccinated Republicans in red states. Natural selection?" said Democratic writer Andy Ostroy.
So who’s sick and dying from #COVID19? Unvaccinated Republicans in red states. Natural selection? https://t.co/SYN5Wk9jd9— Andy Ostroy (@Andy Ostroy)1626267787.0
"Ron DeSantis' failure to protect Floridians during this pandemic will go down in history as one of the greatest catastrophes in Florida history," read a post by Ron Be Gone, a Democratic-run group hoping to stop DeSantis from running for re-election, according to WTVJ-TV.