DeSantis talks about addiction but also border, transgender, sports, Covid, Trump, Fauci

(As originally published with bells and whistles, Wed, August 3rd 2022, 10:29 AM EDT)

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. (CBS12) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis held a Wednesday morning news conference about addiction care but spent a lot of time talking about a lot of other issues.

He blamed President Biden for drugs and more coming in, saying, “We have an open border. A border that was deliberately opened in January of 2021. We’ve seen millions and millions of people pour into the country illegally from all over the world… It was not mostly Mexicans coming. It was from all over because word went out to show up.”

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The governor —who’s running for reelection in November and considered a possible presidential candidate in 2024 — also condemned certain care for gender dysphoria.

“One of the things they’re trying to do, they talk about very young kids getting gender-affirming care. They don’t tell you what that is,” he claimed. “They’re actually giving very young girls double mastectomies. They want to castrate these young boys.”

After announcing care for substance abuse disorder, DeSantis suddenly shifted to the subject of women’s athletics, calling President Biden “deranged” for “legislature to protect women’s sports in the state of Florida. … And then you’d have a boy compete who identified as female, but then it’s not fair. It’s not a fair competition. … We need to protect the fairness and integrity of sports for our girls and women athletes.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis took on a host of issues in Rockledge, Aug.3, 2022. (Pool via CNN Newsource)

He continued, “They’re threatening to take away lunch money from poor kids as punishment for us protecting women’s sports. Think about how deranged that is. They’re so intent on destroying the competition of women’s athletics. … We’re not backing down one inch on this.”

Then, he went further on schools and health.

“I am so sick of politicians, you saw this with COVID, trying to sow fear into the population. We had people calling, mothers worried about whether their kids could catch it at school. And we’re not going to go back like Fauci in the ’80s where he’s trying to tell families they were all going to catch AIDS watching TV together,” DeSantis claimed.

He discussed vaccinations against Covid, and said Florida took the right approach for society: “Biden was saying unvaccinated people are like a problem in our country and they were stigmatizing people based on this. … Up until Covid, I had never seen something like a vaccine being wielded as a political weapon to try to marginalize people. It was a very sad part of our country.”

Then, he used the word “demented” again to criticize the media for “turning negative” in his opinion, and underplaying President Trump’s Covid treatment “because you don’t like someone who took it.”

The governor was joined by state surgeon general Dr. Joseph Ladapo; secretary of the Department of Children and Families Secretary, Shevaun Harris; and deputy secretary for health, Dr. Kenneth Scheppke.

DeSantis announced the opening of a new opioid recovery program in Florida. The network of care will be called C.O.R.E., which is an acronym for Coordinated Opioid Recovery.

“Substance abuse can affect any family at any time, so from education to law enforcement to treatment we are going to make sure that Floridians can take advantage of this new addiction recovery model,” said Gov. DeSantis.

“It is so vital for individuals contending with a substance use disorder to have access to the right array of services that will work for their individual needs,” said Department of Children and Families Secretary Shevaun Harris.

The program grew out of a pilot test in Palm Bach County for nearly two years.

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