Fact Check Governor Ron DeSantis Presidential Campaign Launch

Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida announced his candidacy for president on Wednesday night in a live Twitter stream that was delayed by technical difficulties and peppered with sometimes misleading claims.

Here is a fact check of some of his claims.

what was said

“Biden has also politicized the military and derailed recruiting.”

This lacks evidence. Military leaders recently warned that several branches of the armed forces are struggling to meet recruiting goals, but the reasons they cited have little to do with President Biden. Namely, many young Americans simply fail to qualify.

A 2020 Pentagon study found that only 23% of 17-24 year olds can meet service standards, with many failing army entrance exams or physical and mental fitness tests. This rate decreased by 6% compared to the previous study in 2017.

Army leaders addressed recruiting issues at a congressional hearing in April, noting that the problem persists.

“The challenging recruiting landscape we face didn’t happen in a year, and it will take us more than a year to turn the tide,” said Christine Wormuth, the Secretary of the Army.

Wormuth also noted that a Pentagon survey of 2,400 people between the ages of 16 and 28 asked about barriers to enlistment. Respondents cited fear of injury and death as the main concern while cultural and political issues – “waking up in the military or the Covid vaccine mandate, for example – these were relatively low on the list. barriers to service,” she said.

what was said

“In Florida, our crime rate is at its lowest level in 50 years. You look at the 25 most criminal cities in America, Florida does not rank in the top 25.

This is largely true. The state’s crime rate fell to a 50-year low in 2021, but DeSantis omits a big caveat: Many state law enforcement agencies have moved to a methodology reporting differs and data is tentative and incomplete in many cases, The Tampa Bay Times reported.

Data from just 59% of Florida agencies covering 57.5% of the population was used for the state’s overall crime rate in 2021. This reflects a national trend: nationwide, nearly 40% of Law enforcement did not report 2021 crime data due to new methodology.

No city in Florida is ranked among the best in violent crime rates compiled by private companies and the media. But it should be noted that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and criminal justice experts have long advised against comparing crime rates between cities, given the wide variation in population size and demographics.

what was said

“Probably no one made more money at Disney than me because they were open during Covid. And they were closed in California and it went on for many, many months where literally I opened all the theme parks in Florida in 2020.”

It’s exaggerated. Disney World in Florida closed on March 15, 2020, along with all other Disney theme parks worldwide. It reopened in July, after four months of closure. Disney resorts in Paris, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo also reopened in 2020 after being closed for months. Disneyland in California reopened on April 30, 2021, after a year-long shutdown, the longest among Disney resorts, after the state cleared theme parks to welcome visitors back.

Mr. DeSantis is also downplaying his own actions during the coronavirus pandemic. He issued an executive order on April 1, 2020, ordering all Florida residents to “limit their movements and personal interactions outside of their homes to those that are necessary.” While the order did not explicitly close theme parks, it limited openings to essential services and activities and banned gatherings of more than 10 people. The order expired on May 1.

what was said

“This whole book ban thing is a hoax. There hasn’t been a single book banned in the state of Florida. You can go buy or use any book you want.

It is misleading. There hasn’t been a statewide one-book ban, but Mr. DeSantis is dramatically downplaying the extent to which school districts and libraries in parts of the state have taken books down. . In fact, Florida ranks second, behind Texas, as the state with the most bans with 357, according to PEN America, a nonprofit that supports free speech.

Legislation Mr. DeSantis signed limiting discussion of sexual orientation, gender identity and race has led teachers and administrations to suppress the books.

Books that have been pulled from shelves in Florida include a picture book about two male penguins raising a chick, “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison and “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood.


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