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DeSantis blasts Trump WH over 2021 letter telling Florida to enact masking, ‘strict social distancing’

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is calling out former President Donald Trump over a letter the White House sent to Florida in January 2021, shortly before Trump left office, urging the state to require distancing and masking to combat the coronavirus. 

“For months, May 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020, even January of 2021, I was getting hit by the White House Task Force under Trump. This wasn’t even Biden. This was Trump. … Weeks before they left office, they were sending us missives to Florida, saying, ‘Impose mask mandates, and close bars and restaurants and businesses,'” DeSantis said Thursday during an event in Jacksonville, Florida

DeSantis was referencing a letter sent by Trump’s White House Coronavirus Task Force on Jan. 10, 2021, saying that “aggressive mitigation must be used” to combat the virus.

“Without uniform implementation of effective face masking (two or three ply and well-fitting) and strict physical distancing, epidemics could quickly worsen as more transmissible variants spread and become dominant,” the letter said. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci coronavirus mask

Dr. Anthony Fauci, former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The Trump campaign posted several links on its website Thursday attacking DeSantis’ record, including one with the headline, “Ron DeSantis’ Lying Record on COVID.”

“Team Trump knows that the COVID debacle and Trump’s decision to surrender the country to Fauci casts a dark shadow over his record, which is why they are now in panic mode,” Carly Atchison, national spokesperson for the DeSantis campaign, told Fox News Digital.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.

Andrew Mark Miller is a reporter at Fox News. Find him on Twitter @andymarkmiller and email tips to


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