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DeSantis Bashes AP For Story On Touting Of COVID Treatment Linked To Donor

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday went after The Related Press for its story about his touting of a COVID-19 remedy that’s linked to a significant marketing campaign donor.

DeSantis ripped the article in a Fox News interview with Sean Hannity as “clearly a partisan hit piece,” and an instance of AP “attempting to create a false narrative.”

Fairly than pushing for preventive vaccines and masks as circumstances of COVID-19 skyrocket in his state, DeSantis has been closely selling the usage of the pharmaceutical Regeneron to deal with COVID-19, which was utilized by Donald Trump when he contracted the sickness. The governor has arrange Regeneron remedy websites for Floridians.

Hannity referred to Regeneron at the very least twice as a “moncolonial” antibody remedy. It’s really a monoclonal antibody remedy, and has usually proved to be an effective treatment — after somebody will get COVID-19.

However AP reported final week that Ken Griffin, who has donated $10.75 million to a political committee that helps DeSantis, is CEO of Citadel, a Chicago-based hedge fund that has $15.9 million in shares of Regeneron Pharmaceutical Inc.

DeSantis launched a letter responding Monday to AP, calling the article a “smear” and a “conspiracy theory.” He additionally mentioned he had thought the AP despatched him a message notifying him of a retraction, however as an alternative the message complained that his workplace was “bullying” the reporter who wrote the story.

AP additionally complained final Friday to Twitter, condemning what it referred to as “abusive habits” by DeSantis’ Press Secretary Christina Pushaw in opposition to its reporter Brendan Farrington.

Pushaw appeared to sic her 22,000 followers on AP and Farrington with a tweet directing them to “drag them” over a hyperlink to the Regeneron story. The message resulted in threats and different on-line abuse, AP notified Twitter, which subsequently suspended Pushaw from her account for 12 hours.

Pushaw additionally threatened to place Farrington “on blast” if he didn’t modify his story.

On Aug. 20, incoming AP CEO Daisy Veerasingham referred to as on DeSantis in a letter to cease Pushaw’s “harassing behavior.”

Journalists are common targets of “abuse, rape threats, individuals stalking their relations and hacking their on-line personas,” Veerasingham wrote. “Whereas we will disagree about tales, it’s unacceptable and harmful for a public official to encourage the systemic bullying of journalists.”

In his letter responding to Veerasingham on Monday, DeSantis defended Pushaw, saying AP “deserved blowback.”

DeSantis advised Hannity: “The AP knew what they have been doing. They needed to do a political hit on me … After which that they had the temerity to behave like they have been the sufferer after they received referred to as out on their hit piece.”

He didn’t point out Ken Griffin, nor did he focus on any potential battle of curiosity in consistently touting Regeneron.

The AP is standing by its story.



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