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Trump's COVID-19 response coordinator saw lockdowns as 'science experiment', DeSantis says

The Florida governor has contrasted himself with Trump in terms of his coronavirus response.

Published: March 14, 2023 8:37pm

Updated: March 14, 2023 8:56pm

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis indicated in his new book that former President Donald Trump's COVID-19 response coordinator viewed lockdowns in response to the pandemic as a "science experiment."

DeSantis recently released "The Courage to Be Free: Florida's Blueprint for America's Revival" ahead of an expected campaign to challenge Trump for the Republican presidential nomination.

The Florida governor has contrasted himself with Trump in terms of his coronavirus response. In an excerpt from the book that the Daily Caller highlighted, DeSantis recalls a conversation with White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx in which she admitted the lockdowns were not a proven method of containing the virus.

"I said, 'Deborah, just tell me. When in American history has this been done and what were the results because I kind of feel like we're flying blind here and we may be doing things that are gonna be damaging,'" DeSantis wrote. "And she said, 'You know, it's kind of our own science experiment that we’re doing in real time.' That didn’t sit well with me, you're a citizen of a republic, not a guinea pig."

DeSantis rose to national prominence during the COVID-19 pandemic, when he reopened Florida much earlier than other states and barred the implementation of mask mandates. Birx, in particular, was a vocal critic of the governor's approach.

Recent polling suggests that DeSantis stands as the most formidable challenger to Trump for the 2024 GOP nomination, though he lags behind the former president in many surveys.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.

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