Frank Luntz politicizes DeSantis’ wife’s battle with cancer over Fla. governor’s stance on Covid testing

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Well-known establishment pollster Frank Luntz started a war that he cannot win by butting his nose into Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ affairs in a way that the governor’s supporters, including his press secretary, did not appreciate.

It all started on Friday, when press secretary Christina Pushaw tweeted a video of her boss pointing out the foolhardiness of encouraging everybody to get tested for COVID.

“Think about it. Before COVID, did anyone go out and seek testing to determine if they were sick? It’s usually that you feel like you’re sick and then you get tested to determine what you may have come down with,” the governor said in the clip.

He later explained why this is an issue: “It’s essentially a lockdown by self. If you test positive but you are not sick or have no symptoms, you may have to isolate.”

View the tweet below:

For whatever reason, Luntz chose to respond to this tweet the following day by drawing a comparison between being tested all the time for COVID, a contagious virus, and undergoing an annual mammogram screening.

“Mammograms, among other things,” he wrote, responding directly to the governor’s question about anyone seeking testing “to determine if they were sick.”

To prove his point, he included a tweet from the governor’s cancer-stricken wife, Casey, encouraging Florida women to not skip out on their recommended cancer screenings.

Bad move …


As of Sunday, the tweet boasted over 1,000 comments but only about 300 retweets, meaning it’d been “ratioed.”

Included among the commenters was Pushaw, who pushed back by articulating the fallacy in Luntz’ logic (or the lack thereof).

“Are you seriously suggesting that everyone should get daily or weekly mammograms, regardless of risk factors or symptoms? Because that is insane and would only end up depriving care to those who truly could benefit from it,” she wrote.

She was right in more ways than one.

The country’s most prestigious cancer-focused health organization, the American Cancer Society, explicitly warns that mammograms “might not be helpful for all women.”

“The value of a screening mammogram depends on a woman’s overall health. Finding breast cancer early may not help her live longer if she has other serious or life-threatening health problems, such as serious heart disease, or severe kidney, liver, or lung disease,” the organization states.

The value of a COVID test tends to function in the opposite direction, according to former Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Brett Giroir.

Asked during an NBC News interview in 2020 about whether the young and healthy should be seeking out tests “just because,” he said, “I really wouldn’t advise that if you’re young and healthy, unless you had an exposure.”

Unwilling to concede Pushaw’s point, Luntz fired back, writing, “No, I’m pointing out that preventative medicine exists and its practitioners advised people to ‘seek testing to determine if they were sick’ long before COVID was a thing.”

But again he was conflating an airborne respiratory virus with cancer, as noted by DeSantis’ press secretary in her clapback:

Conservative commentator Noah Blum also chimed in, arguing that what Luntz was really saying — once you look past the polite facade — was that DeSantis’ wife would be dead had she listened to his testing advice.

It appears Luntz never responded to Pushaw’s “airborne respiratory virus” tweet. He did however pipe back up when she accused him of having being paid by an unnamed NGO “to manipulate Americans into demanding unprecedented government infringements on their civil liberties.”

The pollster did not refute the accusation. Instead he claimed that he’s “trying to save the lives of your family and friends.”

Pushaw was understandably unconvinced.

And indeed, if her boss is vaccinated, she presumably is as well. And if that’s the case, then it’s not clear what she needs to be saved from.

As for Luntz, it seems he may need to be saved from himself …


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