Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) attacked Dr. Anthony Fauci on Wednesday, calling for somebody to “grab” the nation’s top infectious disease expert and “chuck him across the Potomac.”
“I’m just sick of seeing him! I do know he says he’s going to retire. Someone must grab that little elf and chuck him across the Potomac,” DeSantis, a possible 2024 presidential candidate, said to cheers during a campaign stop on his “Keep Florida Free Tour.”
Fauci, who’s President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, announced Monday he was stepping down from all current posts “to pursue the subsequent chapter of my profession.”
The 81-year-old became a top goal for right-wing hate over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, following attacks from former President Donald Trump and other Republican leaders.
Earlier this month, for instance, a Maryland man was sentenced to a few years in prison after he sent emails threatening to harm or kill Fauci, his members of the family and other health officials.
One among the emails threatened that Fauci and his family could be “dragged into the road, beaten to death, and set on fire.” One other read: “Hope you get a bullet in your compromised satanic elf skull today.”
DeSantis has long harnessed hate toward Fauci to fundraise and fan the flames of his base. In mid-2021, as COVID-19 cases soared in his state, he was selling “Don’t Fauci my Florida” can coolers and T-shirts.