A new line of merchandise from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is creating quite a stir on social media.
From a koozie emblazoned with the message "How the hell am I going to be able to drink a beer with a mask on?" to a T-shirt reading "Don't Fauci my Florida," the products show a clear disdain for Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading health expert, as well as skepticism over stringent coronavirus regulations.
Another shirt featuring an image of DeSantis over a fused photo of the American and Florida flags reads: "Keep Florida free."
DeSantis is well-known for his controversial leadership during the coronavirus pandemic, refusing to institute a statewide mask mandate and opening up Florida's economy while other states remained shut down during the height of the pandemic. He has been lauded by Republicans for his handling of the virus, and is emerging as a potential 2024 presidential candidate.
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DeSantis has not made a formal announcement about a 2024 presidential run, but is being cited as a potential challenger to former President Donald Trump.
Democrats have steadily criticized the governor, saying DeSantis has failed to protect Floridians during the worst of the pandemic.
"Ron DeSantis’ failure to protect Floridians during this pandemic will go down in history as one of the greatest catastrophes in Florida history," a post from Ron Be Gone, a Democratic-run group hoping to stop DeSantis from running for reelection, said.
DeSantis has been steadfast in his criticism of Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In early June, DeSantis claimed Fauci issued public health guidance that wasn't fully supported by scientific evidence.
“I think now with Fauci’s emails ... it’s pretty clear that a lot of this stuff was fly by the seat of your pants guidance. This was not based on hard data," DeSantis said.
DeSantis is selling the spoof products amid a spike in coronavirus infections across the state. The items are being sold on his website.