DeSantis slams AP for alleged hit piece over his support for Regeneron COVID treatment: ‘Was it worth it?’
Governor Ron DeSantis slammed The Associated Press (AP) for writing and defending a “political smear” campaign against him and his press secretary.
“You succeeded in publishing a misleading, clickbait headline against one of your political opponents, but at the expense of deterring individuals infected with COVID from seeking life-saving treatment, which will cost lives,” DeSantis wrote in a statement. “Was it worth it?”
DeSantis penned the letter after the news organization reported that his press secretary, Christina Pushaw, was suspended from Twitter due to “abusive behavior.” The AP alleged that Pushaw “encouraged her 21,800 followers to harass Associated Press reporter Brendan Farrington,” who published a story about a top DeSantis donor’s link to Regeneron, a drug used to treat Covid-19.
“While we can disagree about stories, it is unacceptable and dangerous for a public official to encourage the systemic bullying of journalists,” AP CEO Daisy Veerasingham wrote in a statement.
The AP again recapped Pushaw’s tweets, encouraging her followers to “drag them” and “put you on blast.” Pushaw pushed back, though, saying in a statement that her tweets were never intended to be seen as “threatening.”
“No one from our office ever threatened him,” Pushaw said in a statement. “His story drew harsh criticism because it was false – and discouraged people from seeking life-saving treatment. Instead of owning up to that and retracting their hit piece, AP doubled down and tried to make the story about the backlash the reporter received.”
Pushaw also acknowledged the story on Twitter following her account’s ban.
“Just so you all know, the AP is embarrassed that they got caught pushing potentially deadly misinformation narratives that were conclusively debunked, so they’re trying to deflect and make the story into “Republicans Pounce.” Don’t fall for it,” Pushaw wrote in a tweet. She also included a link to a PolitiFact “mostly false” rating given to the AP’s story.
“Twitter suspended me after AP complained about pushback to their debunked hit piece about [Governor Ron DeSantis]. This only proves Governor DeSantis right – again. Those who challenge false narratives are too often silenced by corporate media and Big Tech collusion,” Pushaw wrote in a second tweet.
Press Secretary Christina Pushaw has not yet responded to the Independent Chronicle’s request for comment.