https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/562919-desantis-selling-dont-fauci-my-florida-koozies

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisCruise line sues Florida over COVID-19 vaccine passport ban Trump getting tougher for Senate GOP to ignore Pompeo on 2024: ‘I want to continue to have an impact’ MORE (R) is selling merchandise on his campaign website taking shots at Anthony FauciAnthony FauciGroups push for health worker COVID-19 vaccine mandates Olivia Rodrigo to visit White House as part of effort to boost vaccinations among the young Israel starts administering third Pfizer dose to people with weak immune systems MORE, the nation’s leading infectious diseases expert, and other coronavirus restrictions. 

The merchandise includes drink koozies and shirts that say “Don’t Fauci My Florida” and flags that closely resemble former President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas family arrested for role in Capitol riot Poll: McAuliffe holds 2-point lead over Youngkin in Virginia governor’s race On The Money: Inflation spike puts Biden on defensive | Senate Democrats hit spending speed bumps | Larry Summers huddles with WH team MORE’s style saying “Keep Florida Free.”

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The merchandise reflects the governor’s attitude throughout the pandemic as he decided to go against Fauci’s recommendations and lift coronavirus restrictions in the state early. 

“How the hell am I going to be able to drink a beer with a mask on?” one of the koozies for sale says. 

Fauci and pandemic restrictions have been criticized heavily by Republicans, who say they were unreasonable or unnecessary. 

The United States has recorded more than 607,000 deaths from COVID-19, more than any other country. Some experts say the number of deaths and cases in the United States would be lower if more people had followed guidelines, including the wearing of masks and practicing social distancing.

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But feelings about masks in particular have also become partisan, with conservative-leaning voters more likely to decry government restrictions and recommendations.

DeSantis is positioning himself for reelection next year and for a potential presidential run in 2024 by appealing to the Republican base and touting the state’s early easing of pandemic restrictions.

DeSantis also sued and won against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which wanted to implement restrictions on cruise ships in the state. 

The governor has been promoting the coronavirus vaccine and encouraging residents to get it but has said it is an individual choice and banned businesses in the state from asking for vaccination status. 

Florida has recently seen an uptick in coronavirus cases, with the Orange County mayor asking residents to wear a mask whether they are vaccinated or not. 

There have been more than 2.4 million coronavirus cases reported in Florida, with more than 38,000 deaths.

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