Historians will have a field day with our time for too many reasons to count, but one thing that will particularly mystify them is the large number who turned on one of the people who did his best to keep people alive during a once-in-a-century public health crisis. That person is Dr. Anthony Fauci, longtime immunologist and, inexplicably, demon to the GOP. Among his bewildering number of haters is Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida and Trump wannabe, who decided to try to profit off the people whose lives he endangers with merchandise targeting the man who did his best to ensure the pandemic hasn’t gone even worse.
NEW TODAY: Our team just dropped EXCLUSIVE merchandise on our brand-new @WINRED storefront.
Trust us… You don’t want to miss out on this. 👀
— Team DeSantis (@teamrondesantis) July 12, 2021
On Wednesday, the governor made an announcement. No, it wasn’t about the renewed surge in COVID cases in his state. It was about a new line of merch bearing the words “Don’t Fauci Florida.” T-shirts. Baseball hats. Flags. Koozies. DeSantis’ verbing of Dr. Fauci’s name wasn’t meant as complimentary, but perhaps it should be. “Fauci,” one could say, could mean to save lives, not doom them to preventable deaths.
The merch was presumably directed at those who haven’t been vaccinated, and who comprise the lion’s share of new COVID cases and related deaths. And when it went public, and as places like Fox News delighted in how triggered it made people who don’t want more mass death, people on social media were quick to try and remind him of the grim numbers in the state DeSantis governs.
Ron Desantis is selling anti-mask merch, including a cooler that says “how the hell am I going to drink a beer with a mask on?”
Meanwhile 5,095 Floridians tested positive for COVID yesterday, 3,000 are hospitalised daily, and new cases increased by 429% over the past 14 days.
— Thomas Kennedy (@tomaskenn) July 14, 2021
Ron DeSantis: “Don’t Fauci my Florida!”
Floridians: “Don’t let my friends and family die!”
It’s time to remove Ron #DeathSantis.
— Remove Ron (@RemoveRon) July 14, 2021
Florida is experiencing a new #COVID19 surge but it’s getting under-reported because under Governor Ron DeSantis the state stopped reporting daily test results.
Last year’s surge to the global epicenter of the pandemic began at exactly the same time. pic.twitter.com/WZa6PUhca5
— Grant Stern is fully vaccinated (@grantstern) July 14, 2021
Florida’s disgrace Ron DeSantis is now selling merchandise to promote anti-Dr. Fauci messaging.
Or in other words, as Florida cases surge, he’s actively continuing to murder thousands more people in an ongoing pandemic. He belongs in a prison cell forever.
— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) July 14, 2021
Florida “ is reporting daily cases close to four times the national average…the second-highest number in the country. The state’s latest covid-19 death rate is almost double the national figure." Yet, Gov Desantis is selling Don’t Fauci My Florida merch. #DeathSantis https://t.co/C8w7F5n5KC
— Sunny Hostin (@sunny) July 14, 2021
Some found it disrespectful of the over 600,000 who’ve died of the virus in the U.S. alone.
I have family & friends in Florida who lost loved ones to COVID. I am incensed @GovRonDeSantis is being so callous and disrespectful of their suffering and exploiting irresponsible pandemic rhetoric to score partisan political points with a bunch of lemmings in GOP base.
— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) July 14, 2021
Some did not mince words when describing DeSantis and those who listen to him.
If you buy any “don’t Fauci my Florida” garbage from DeSantis then yes, you’re in a cult.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) July 14, 2021
And some turned the tables on him.
A few slogans to fight back against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis merchandise slogan: "Don't Fauci My Florida."
"Don't DeSantis My Grandparentsis."
"Stop Ronning My Country."
"Your State Looks Like A Penis And You're An Idiot." pic.twitter.com/eOP6OPHc1X
— Rex Huppke (@RexHuppke) July 14, 2021
But maybe Isiah Whitlock Jr., of The Wire and Spike Lee joints, had the most appropriate response.