Howard Dean calls DeSantis a 'lunatic' over handling of COVID-19

Former Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean called Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisMiami private school orders vaccinated students to stay at home for 30 days as 'precautionary measure' Democratic state Sen. Annette Taddeo announces bid to be Florida's first Latina governor The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Build Back Better items on chopping block MORE (R) a “lunatic” over his handling of COVID-19.

During an interview on MSNBC’s “The Beat with Ari Melber,” Dean said he was “shocked” by DeSantis’s handling of the coronavirus surge in Florida.

“I’m actually just shocked by DeSantis. I never thought I’d say this, but I think he may be more of a lunatic than Trump ever was,” Dean said.

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“I mean Trump has finally come around to understanding that the best thing he can do for his own supporters is to get them to be vaccinated. DeSantis is completely out of touch with reality,” he continued.

DeSantis’s handling of the pandemic has come in focus in recent weeks as the Sunshine State becomes the epicenter of the most recent surge of coronavirus infections fueled by the delta variant.

The Florida governor earlier this month unveiled monoclonal antibody centers to help battle against the surge.

DeSantis, who has heavily opposed COVID-19 restrictions, signed an executive order banning vaccine mandates and has undergone legal battles with schools districts over an executive order preventing districts from enforcing mask mandates.

A judge ruled on Friday that the order banning mask mandates could not be enforced, saying it was by definition “arbitrary” and “capricious.”

Dean, former governor of Vermont, said that DeSantis is “not competent to serve in any way,” adding that there would “dead kids all over Florida” in districts that are following the governor.

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Dean further predicted that DeSantis would not get re-elected for governor.

“It’s almost as if he doesn’t give a damn who has to die as long as he gets reelected," he said.

“I don't know who the Democrats are planning on running for governor, but if it’s half a decent person, DeSantis is going to be gone after four years. And thank God! It's not a moment too soon,” Dean said.