DeSantis and other GOP 2024 prospects target public health officials with political attacks

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“It is very important that we say unequivocally no to lockdowns, no to school closures, no to restrictions and no to mandates,” DeSantis told the crowd at a conservative state policy conference in Utah on Wednesday.

The approaches by DeSantis and other potential GOP 2024 contenders frequently mirror former President Donald Trump‘s downplaying of the pandemic and right-wing television networks — poised to play a central role in the next GOP presidential primary race — that have criticized Dr. Anthony Fauci, opposed government mandates and raised questions about the effectiveness of vaccines.

Ahead of his 2022 gubernatorial re-election — and a potential presidential run in 2024 — DeSantis is using Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease official, as a political punching bag, touting his opposition to Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

His comments followed the CDC issuing stricter mask-wearing guidelines as the more…

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