Earlier this week, The Associated Press appeared to have a scoop: One of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R-FL) high donors is invested within the firm that makes a life-saving COVID-19 therapy — a therapy DeSantis has been touting since final yr.
On its face, the article didn’t have a lot oomph, as DeSantis shouldn’t be the one one pushing monoclonal antibody remedies, including the Biden administration. Further, the donor, Ken Griffin, the CEO of Chicago-based hedge fund Citadel, additionally donated to President Joe Biden’s inauguration committee, but the AP didn’t write an identical article making an attempt to make Biden’s encouragement of the therapy as one thing nefarious.
At situation is the truth that Griffin’s firm, Citadel, holds $15.9 million in shares of Regeneron Pharmaceutical Inc., which makes the antibody therapy DeSantis and Biden are pushing. The AP hedged its article by acknowledging that hedge funds typically “have a wide range of investments,” but the information outlet continued to deal with DeSantis, justifying the article by saying “the relationship has generated a buzz on social media, as Democrats question the relationship.”
“Citadel’s investment in Regeneron is a tiny fraction of its overall $39 billion in investments, but if the stock price were to go up, Citadel would benefit. DeSantis spokeswoman Christina Pushaw points out that Citadel has far greater investments in Moderna and Pfizer, which manufacture COVID-19 vaccines,” the AP additionally reported.
Kirby Wilson of The Tampa Bay Times, nevertheless, famous that Regeneron “already sold all ~1.5 million doses of its monoclonal antibody cocktail to the U.S. government, per a spokesperson.” Because of this, it doesn’t “much matter to Regeneron (financially)” if Floridians do take the therapy being pushed by DeSantis.
Pushaw additionally emailed the AP in an try to clarify why their article was pointless.
“Claiming that there is somehow ‘corruption’ by promoting the baseless political narrative that Governor DeSantis supports Regeneron over COVID vaccines (completely false, but that is another topic) is not even logically consistent when you examine the SEC filing,” Pushaw advised the outlet. “Citadel holds far more shares of Pfizer and Moderna than Regeneron.”
Still, the AP solid forward with a biased article that’s one more media contribution to the try to color DeSantis as a villain.
The AP article led many on the Left to make baseless claims relating to the donor and DeSantis. One such declare, from the left-wing Democratic Underground, ended up getting fact-checked as “mostly false” by Politifact, itself a left-leaning outlet. The Democratic Underground claimed DeSantis “has been discouraging masking and downplaying Covid vaccines” whereas encouraging the antibody remedies.
“You’ll be amazed to learn that the second-largest investor in Regeneron is Citadel Investment Group,” whose CEO, Ken Griffin, is “DeSantis’ number one political donor,” the Democratic Underground claimed in an Instagram put up.
Politifact famous, nevertheless, that Citadel shouldn’t be Rengeron’s “second-largest investor,” and that whereas Griffin is a serious donor to DeSantis, he isn’t the #1 donor (although the outlet famous Democratic Underground didn’t give a donation time-frame).
DeSantis Press Secretary Pushaw took to Twitter after the AP article was revealed to sentence it as “cheap political innuendo” and calling out the creator particularly for allegedly claiming his “boss’s boss” wouldn’t let him change the headline.
Pushaw continued to criticize the AP article, prompting the information outlet to report her to Twitter, alleging harassment. The AP claimed Pushaw’s tweets “led to a reporter receiving threats and other online abuse” and ostensibly claimed that the outlet “is seeking to fight online bullying against journalists, a growing trend that is often triggered by public figures.”
In a now-deleted tweet, Pushaw retweeted the AP article and wrote “drag them.” She additionally wrote in one other tweet that she would put the AP “on blast” if the article wasn’t modified.
The creator of the unique AP article then claimed he was being harassed and threatened.
Pushaw was suspended by Twitter for 12 hours.
In response to the ban, Pushaw mentioned “You will ban the press secretary of a democratically-elected official while allowing the Taliban to live tweet their conquest of Afghanistan?” She added that those that “challenge false narratives are often silenced by corporate media and Big Tech collusion.”
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