Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., is optimistic about his wife, First Lady Casey DeSantis, and her battle with breast cancer, telling reporters that “2022 will be the year where we can say that she is cancer-free.”
“We’re not through with it. We’re getting closer to the end,” DeSantis told reporters on Friday. “Our view is that 2022 will be the year where we can say that she is cancer-free, and that will be something that will be really important.”
“It’s a medical issue for the family, which, it’s generally a private thing,” the governor continued. “So we felt it was important to let people know she was dealing with it at the outset.”
DeSantis added that while his wife’s cancer is not out of the woods yet, “a lot of people care about her, and a lot of people have been praying” for her, which he said makes a huge difference.
News of the first lady’s diagnosis was revealed in October. Since then, she has stepped back from the public spotlight to focus on her recovery. She last appeared in December to announce that $100 million in cancer research funds would be included in the governor’s latest budget proposal.
Gov. DeSantis recently accompanied the first lady to one of her cancer treatments in Tampa. However, Democrats attacked the governor, accusing him of being absent and “vacationing” while Covid-19 cases rose in Florida.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., criticized DeSantis for being “inexplicably missing,” while he attended his wife’s cancer treatment. Ocasio-Cortez, who recently visited Miami to vacation, was spotted at a crowded drag-queen brunch without a mask.
The New York Democrat revealed she tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday.
Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried, a 2022 Florida Democrat gubernatorial candidate, tweeted a swipe at the governor while he took a day off to accompany his wife, writing “As governor, I’ll show up.”
Gov. DeSantis addressed the criticisms from Democrats and the mainstream media during his Friday press conference.
“A lot of these people, some in the media, but a lot of these politicians who are trying to get some traction, you know they were saying, ‘Oh, he’s out vacationing and all this stuff,” the governor stated.
“Well, it turns out, we were down in Tampa doing this treatment, and it’s not easy to go through for her, and it’s certainly not fun to watch somebody have to go through that, to watch your spouse go through that, and so it is a tough thing,” he added.
Fried and Ocasio-Cortez have not taken down their tweets or apologized for attacking DeSantis for going to his wife’s cancer treatment.