Updated Oct 6, 2022 - Politics & Policy

DeSantis claims media rooted for Hurricane Ian to hit Tampa

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference to update information about the on ongoing efforts.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks about Hurricane Ian. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said in an interview this week that the national media wanted Hurricane Ian to hit Tampa Bay, broadly claiming that coverage of the deadly storm was motivated by a "political agenda."

The big picture: Hurricane Ian largely spared Tampa Bay from destruction and major problems despite early predictions that the storm would "flood thousands of homes and deluge the region," per Axios Tampa Bay.

Driving the news: In an interview with Florida's Voice, DeSantis said that "frankly, you have national regime media that … wanted to see Tampa because they thought that would be worse for Florida. That's how these people think."

  • "They don't care about the people of this state. They don't care about the people of this community. They want to use storms and destruction from storms as a way to advance their agenda," he added.
  • "And they don't care what destruction's in their wake. They don't care about the lives here. If they can use it to pursue their political agenda, they will do it."

What they're saying: "Governor DeSantis is absolutely correct in his assertion: many people in the media have shamefully capitalized on the tragedy of Hurricane Ian to push their political agenda," Bryan Griffin, press secretary for DeSantis, told Axios in an email Wednesday.

  • DeSantis' office then pointed to a number of local and national stories primarily focused on Hurricane Ian and climate change.

Flashback: DeSantis said over the weekend that the media will lose interest in the storm, but problems will still exist.

  • "There comes a time when this is not interest to the TV cameras anymore," DeSantis said at a press conference Saturday. "But we understand the needs will exist long after the cameras are gone."

At least 84 people have died from Hurricane Ian as thousands remain without power.

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Editor's note: This article has been updated with a statement from DeSantis' office.

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