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to using the power of his office and the state to block further COVID-19 restrictions by localities, school boards and private businesses. He kept localities from obstructing businesses from opening or fining people for violating mask ordinances. He forbid vaccine passports. He prevented schools from forcing parents to mask their children.
DeSantis’ response to the coronavirus isn’t going to be decisive in a prospective 2024 primary battle with Trump. It is, however, what has put him in the game. It also is a large part of the reason that Republicans feel vested in and defensive of the governor, making it harder for Trump to mock and belittle him — not that he isn’t going to try.
Trump accuses DeSantis of disloyalty and, if developing an issue that is going to be almost impossible for Trump to counteract counts, he’s guilty as charged.
Rich Lowry is editor of the National Review.