As mainstream media continues to battle it out with the DeSantis Administration over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. DeSantis's Press Secretary Christina Pushaw is fighting back. Pushaw has accused the Miami Herald of starting a "disinformation campaign" on COVID-19 and Florida's infection and hospitalization numbers in an effort to smear the governor,
Yesterday, the Miami Herald wrote a piece that Pushaw described as "riddled with contradictions" and "false claims." Pushaw specifically goes after the front-page headline, titled "Florida Changed its COVID-19 Data, Creating an 'Artificial Decline' in recent deaths."
The article she says has since "gone viral," with the Lincoln Project, Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried (D-FL), and Occupy Democrats all posting the piece, via Twitter.
Not only have notable individuals and organizations read it, but other news organizations are now publishing the information that Pushaw holds them equally responsible for. For instance, the Daily Beast, The Hill, Yahoo News, and Politico.
The Florida Department of Health has since responded to the article, which Pushaw is confident "debunks" their narrative.
Pushaw released a statement of her own, confronting the controversial headlines that have since transcended news media across the nation:
"Dr. Jason Salemi – an epidemiologist who is well-known for his dashboards tracking COVID data in Florida – was also quoted in the Miami Herald story, and he confirmed that Florida’s death reporting is transparent and accurate. Of course, Salemi’s accurate quote didn’t make it into the headline; it was instead buried under paragraphs of innuendo. Here’s what he said: “Deaths by date of death curve is the most accurate you can get. You know exactly when people died, you know how to construct the curve and exactly when we were experiencing surges in terms of deaths.”"
The aforementioned quote is in reference to a quote in the Herald article that Pushaw has described as "cherry-picked."
Pushaw has most recently made a name for herself amid the ongoing misinformation battle between national media and the DeSantis Admin in Tallahassee. Her new image as the frontline fighter against COVID-19 reporting has earned her insulting caricatures and mass pushback among national Democrats.