Aug 23, 2021 - Politics

AP asks DeSantis to stop aide's "harassing behavior" toward reporter

Christina Pushaw, press secretary for Gov. Ron DeSantis, at a press conference as the governor announces the opening of a monoclonal antibody treatment site in Lakeland. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Associated Press’ incoming CEO is asking Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to put a stop to his press secretary’s "harassing behavior" that she says has endangered one of the organization's journalists in our state.

What happened: DeSantis aide Christina Pushaw’s Twitter account was temporarily suspended for violating rules on abusive behavior after she encouraged her followers to target longtime Florida reporter Brendan Farrington.

  • Farrington wrote a story last week pointing out that the hedge fund of one of DeSantis’ top donors has invested millions in Regeneron, which manufactures a COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment that DeSantis has been promoting around the state.
  • Farrington said he received threats and hate messages about the story. "I’ll be fine, I hope. Freedom. Just please don’t kill me," he tweeted.

Between the lines: Farrington's article was fair — with plenty of background about how hedge fund investing works — and quoted Pushaw at length defending the governor’s taxpayer-funded barnstorming tour to promote the drug.

The big picture; DeSantis announced yesterday that the state plans to open between 15 to 20 sites providing about 320 monoclonal antibody treatments a day by the start of next week, per Florida Politics.


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