Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) dismissed growing concerns about monkeys during a press conference on Wednesday, arguing that the media and politicians were unnecessarily afraid of the illness.
“I am so sick of politicians, and we saw this with COVID, trying to put fear into the population,” said the governor of the Republic said. “People were calling us, mothers worried if their kids could catch it at schools.”
“We have no fear,” he said. “And we’re not going to go out and try to lift people up and try to act like people can’t live their lives the way they normally do because of something.”
DeSantis, who was voice critic of the Biden administration’s response to COVID-19, it also criticized states that impose emergency measures for smallpox.
“You see some of these states declaring states of emergency. They are going to abuse those emergency powers to restrict your freedom. I promise you that’s what will happen,” DeSantis said.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) declared disaster in his state last weekend during the outbreak. California Gov. announced Gavin Newsom and Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker, both Democrats, state of emergency regarding the virus on Monday as well.
representatives Charlie Crist (D-Fla.), who is running against DeSantis in the Florida gubernatorial race, criticized the governor’s comments on Twitter.
“Even though Governor DeSantis dismisses the Monkey, at-risk Floridians still need better information, better testing, and access to vaccines for prevention,” Crist write.
The governor’s comments come as Florida There is a record 525 cases of chicken pox, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There have been 6,617 confirmed cases across the US as of Wednesday.