Doing what she does best on her birthday in beclowning herself, MSNBC’s ReidOut host Joy Reid restored to the tiresome liberal narrative of smearing and lying about Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL). Here, Reid lied about DeSantis believing “Covid just isn’t real,” that he’s touted Regeneron because it benefits a donor, and that he’s silenced University of Florida professors study the virus.
“[I]n Florida, Ron DeSantis continues to pretend that Covid just isn't real. And college professors say they felt pressure, get this, to actually destroy Covid data,” boasted Reid in the first of two teases.
In the other, she called the flimsy report a “chilling story” from “a faculty committee at the University of Florida” saying “researchers working...on Covid described external pressure to destroy data and to not criticize Governor Ron DeSantis.”
She started the segment by saying the Sunshine State “has taken steps to limit Covid data” with DeSantis having done “nothing to combat the pandemic” by fudging numbers (not true) and abandoned support for vaccines to instead “hawk...Regeneron” since “his top political donor happens to a Regeneron investor” even though “his press secretary told Politifact that no donor had anything to do with” it.
Excuse us, Joy, but how would DeSantis think Covid is fake if he’s promoting a treatment for it?
Along with siding with the ever-unstable Rebekah Jones on Covid numbers, Reid touted a conspiracy theory about the Covid treatment even though, if she had been more honest about Politifact’s ruling, she would have informed viewers that even so-called fact-checker deemed claim “mostly false.”
Reid then went to the University of Florida report, which she said showed “faculty...pressure to not challenge the state's position on Covid” to the point of “destroy[ing]...data” and instead hue to DeSantis talking points.
After offering a measly and vague summation of a response from DeSantis spokeswoman Christina Pushaw, she went to one of the professors behind the report as if Pushaw’s claims had no basis in reality (click “expand”):
REID: And “some faculty” “expressed” “concern” that “funding...would be in jeopardy if” they did not follow state policy on pandemic rules “in opinion articles.” Now, we did reach out to Governor DeSantis's office and his spokesperson said the report contains no evidence that the state directed researchers to destroy data or that the governor or his office attempted to exert improper influence....Explain to us in simple terms what was in this report? The external pressure that University of Florida researchers felt — is it specific — do we specifically know where that pressure was coming from?
DANAYA WRIGHT: So — so — okay, so, the report reflects a bunch of comments given us to as members of this committee and we were tasked with collecting information from as many faculty as we could and I will say that some of us have information about where the pressure might becoming from and who the pressure was imposed on but we are trying to protect the confidentiality of those faculty.
REID: Right and can — can you say that the pressure was coming from the DeSantis administration, even if it wasn’t specifically from the governor?
WRIGHT: I don't want to say specifically. I just want to say that it came from above and in my opinion...the governor appoints the board of education, the governor appoints the board — members of the board of governors, the governor appointments most of the members of the trustees and they appoint the president and the provosts and the deans, so it's hard to say did this — you know — I'm not here to sort of to — to point the finger at any particular person. I think that —
REID: But you're saying above.
WRIGHT: — the reality is that there was just this pressure.
WRIGHT: It was coming from above and I sort of lump all of them together.
Again, none of this was, at minimum, substantiated. As per the excerpt of the transcript, Wright sounded as esoteric as possible while stating just enough for one of the left’s biggest tinfoil hat bearers to smell danger.
As Pushaw and others have pointed out, the report itself contained this damning caveat: “This task force simply did not have the resources of the time to fully investigate these reports or their legal and policy implications.”
Wait. So, Reid is touting a report published by Florida’s Faculty Senate that made a series of claims and its been presented as fact in Congress and the media as fact? Color us shocked.
Further, the great Max Nordau diagnosed the entire point of this exercise: “UF Faculty, the Tampa Bay Times, and the Miami Herald didn't make up this conspiracy theory because it's actually happening. They made it up so that they could try to take down DeSantis.”
Alas, the grift continued unabated as Reid went to the ever-unhinged Fernand Amandi and told him that “we know what ‘above’ means in Florida” as “DeSantis has made it very clear that he does not want Covid to be real or that he just doesn’t believe it’s real or he thinks it’s just like a flu and you can just have natural immunity to it and he doesn't care.”
Eager to contribute some Notable Quotables, Amandi decried “the wannabe dictator, dangerous Florida man” as behaving like “an autocrat” “on the heels of the announcement last week where he now wants to build his own private paramilitary militia.”
After implying that professors could be jailed for not supporting the Republican governor, he said DeSantis’s Florida “is what fascism and autocracy sounds like” with war being waged “on academic freedom,” “science,” and “truth.”
Here again, MSNBC lied. Responding to a tweet peddling this report from Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL), Pushaw noted that DeSantis has already “signed” into law legislation “to protect academic freedom & determine if students, faculty, and staff ‘feel free to express their beliefs and viewpoints on campus.’”
This fact-free segment exhibiting signs of DeSantis Derangement Syndrome was made possible thanks to the endorsement of advertisers such as Cadillac, Gold Bond, Instacart, and Lincoln. Follow the links to see their contact information at the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.
To see the relevant MSNBC transcript from December 8, click here.