Ron DeSantis pans ‘phony narratives’ from media about measles

Florida’s Governor appears to be irked by disproportionate coverage of measles outbreaks, blasting what he calls “phony narratives” from the press.

From his personal social media account on X, Ron DeSantis offered a snarky quote tweet of a post from one of his followers. The post suggested that coverage of an in-state school flare-up of the disease was more pronounced than that of an Illinois shelter for undocumented immigrants.

The poster asserted that “there are 30+ cases of measles tied to an illegal immigrant shelter in Chicago but I haven’t seen the same news coverage about this as the < 10 cases in Florida last month.”

“Gee, I wonder why?” the Governor responded.

He followed this up with commentary during a press conference in Orlando on Wednesday.

“Now, you see 30 cases in Chicago with illegal aliens. I don’t hear the same carping from the media. In fact, they’re not talking about it really very much at all. So it just goes to show you the phony narratives that get put out all to drive an agenda,” DeSantis said.

“The fact of the matter is they kind of whip it up and then when things go a different direction than what they were predicting, they just forget that it ever happened and then they just move on.”

“You see even more cases in these other areas and you don’t hear the same type of carping and I wonder why that is OK,” he added.

It’s uncertain why the Governor and the poster believe the media hasn’t covered this, given that the Chicago Tribune and other outlets have reported heavily on the resurgence of a disease that had been considered to be eradicated at the turn of the century, a time when vaccines weren’t the political flashpoint they are today.

But the commentary suggests that the Governor is still disgruntled over media scrutiny over an outbreak earlier this year in Florida schools, which he has messaged about through official channels recently.

Earlier this month, the Governor’s Office alleged “disproportionate attention for political reasons” on Florida’s recent measles outbreak compared to 16 other states dealing with the disease this year.

The release responded to controversy over how Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo handled a February measles outbreak at Manatee Bay Elementary.

Ladapo offered guidance suggesting that community immunity meant that those with measles could make up their own minds about attending school, given “people with a history of prior infection or vaccination of the full series of the Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) immunization are 98% protected and are unlikely to contract measles.”

“Because of the high likelihood of infection, it is normally recommended that children stay home until the end of the infectious period, which is currently March 7, 2024,” Ladapo wrote last month.

“As the epidemiological investigation continues, this date could change. However, due to the high immunity rate in the community, as well as the burden on families and educational cost of healthy children missing school, DOH is deferring to parents or guardians to make decisions about school attendance.”

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