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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis reacted to recent action taken in response to the U.S. monkeypox virus outbreak, telling reporters in a Wednesday media briefing that his government is “not doing fear.”
The Republican governor said during a press briefing that Florida would, instead, “focus on facts.”
“I am so sick of politicians — and we saw this with COVID — trying to sow fear into the population,” he said. “We had people calling, mothers worried about whether their kids could catch it at school.”
“We are not doing fear,” DeSantis added. “And, we are not going to go out and try to rile people up and try to act like people can’t live their lives as they’ve been normally doing because of something.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference in Pembroke Pines, Florida, on Aug. 18, 2021. (Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
He claimed that leaders of states that have declared public health emergencies would abuse those powers to “restrict your freedom.”
“I guarantee you that’s what will happen,” he said. “We saw it so much with COVID.”
Govs. Kathy Hochul, Gavin Newsom and J.B. Pritzker — all Democrats from New York, California and Illinois, respectively — have declared states of emergency over the spread of monkeypox.
New York currently accounts for 1,666 of U.S. cases.
People wait to receive the monkeypox vaccine at a mass vaccination site in Manhattan on July 26, 2022. (Photo by Liao Pan/China News Service via Getty Images)
The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows 525 confirmed monkeypox and orthopoxvirus cases reported in Florida and now 6,617 nationwide.
This photograph taken on March 5, 2021, shows a sign of the World Health Organization (WHO) at the entrance of their headquarters in Geneva amid the coronavirus outbreak. (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared monkeypox a global health emergency, with the virus spreading to tens of countries that don’t typically have infections.
Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal and often skin-to-skin contact, including direct contact with objects and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
A pregnant person can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta.
Julia Musto is a reporter for Fox News Digital. You can find her on Twitter at @JuliaElenaMusto.