Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Compares Opening Schools To Killing Osama Bin Laden

What the hell is wrong with this guy?

575 points

There really is no depth to which Republicans will not sink in their effort to convince America that they’ve been right about the coronavirus all along — that it’s like the flu, that it can be ignored or easily managed, that we’ll simply “find a way” to deal with what has turned out the be one of the biggest disasters in the nation’s history.

If they turn out to be wrong, after all, it means they were responsible, along with Donald Trump, for tens of thousands of unnecessary, preventable deaths from a disease that could have been contained and overcome by following simple guidelines from health professionals.

But the COVID pandemic has been alike unto the climate change disaster, only played out in a shorter period of time. It’s an emergency, everyone knows it’s an emergency, and a lot of people are going to die unless we do the right thing to address it. But doing so will cost rich people money, which Republicans cannot abide.


So, just as they mock those who wanted to do away with incandescent light bulbs and plastic bags at the grocery store, now the anti-alarm conservatives mock those who wear masks and gloves and retaliate violently if they’re forced to participate in safety measures that benefit everyone but mildly inconvenience them personally.

Ron DeSantis, Florida’s right-wing Governor, has been among those anti-alarmists who have done the most harm by turning a blind eye to the dangers of COVID in favor of saving wealthy people money and pretending everything’s normal. He’s hidden death counts, omitted facilities with high infection rates from statistics, and even publicly fumbled with the easiest of all prevention methods, the face mask.

So it was unsurprising but still disappointing when, at a news conference DeSantis held Wednesday to update his constituents on COVID, the Governor compared opening up Florida schools to the Navy SEAL operation that took down Osama bin Laden 9 years ago. Frankly, we’re not quite certain who the analog to bin Laden is in this scenario. Is it the percentage of kids who need to die so that others may take their standardized tests on time? Is DeSantis comparing teachers and administrators to Navy SEALs in that they’re risking their lives?

Whatever he’s playing at here, it’s offensive.

Opening schools is a mission akin to a Navy SEAL operation. Just as the SEALs surmounted obstacles to bring Osama bin Laden to justice, so too would the Martin County school system find a way to provide parents with a meaningful choice of in-person instruction or continued distance learning. All in, all the time.”

Navy SEALs found the best way to breach bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan, physically overpower his guards, and kill him when he least expected it. But you can’t shoot a virus, or even sneak up on it. Nobody is trained to defeat a pandemic except the people that Republicans keep ignoring and mocking.

This didn’t have to be a war, Governor.

Featured image via Flickr/Gage Skidmore, under Creative Commons license 2.0

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575 points