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Protesters disrupt Florida governor's coronavirus news conference in Orlando

Demonstrators accuse Gov. Ron DeSantis of lying about COVID-19, mishandling pandemic
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to give 12:15 p.m. coronavirus update in Orlando
Posted at 9:22 AM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 09:22:15-04

A group of protesters dramatically disrupted a news conference from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday, accusing him of lying to the public and mishandling the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

While DeSantis spoke at OneBlood's headquarters in Orlando about the importance of COVID-19 survivors donating their blood, a group of four men suddenly started shouting at the governor.

"Shame on you Ron DeSantis!" one of the protesters exclaimed. "You're lying to the public!"

"You are mishandling!" another protester yelled. "Shame on you!"

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Protesters disrupt Gov. Ron DeSantis coronavirus news conference in Orlando

During the short outburst, the governor was heard chuckling in the background as the four men, all of whom were wearing face coverings, recorded the incident on their cell phones.

Orange County deputies eventually removed the protesters from the building, but that didn't stop them from letting their voices be heard.

During the remainder of the news conference, the men could be heard banging on the glass doors of OneBlood's headquarters and shouting at DeSantis.

"We will not be defunding the police, so don't worry about that," DeSantis said after the men were out of the building. "We're gonna be supporting our men and women in law enforcement."

Gov. Ron DeSantis at OneBlood headquarters, July 20, 2020
Gov. Ron DeSantis is interrupted by protesters during a coronavirus news conference, July 20, 2020, at OneBlood headquarters in Orlando, Fla.

During a news conference in Miami last week, a protester interrupted DeSantis, accusing him of falsifying information about the deadly coronavirus pandemic and calling for his resignation.

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Coronavirus

At Monday's news conference, DeSantis urged people who've tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered from the virus to donate their blood.

The governor said the blood of recovered patients contains convalescent plasma, which some doctors are using to treat current COVID-19 patients.

"It has the antibodies, and then that is then used on a patient who is sick in the hospital," DeSantis said. "Donate your plasma. It's very, very important. You can make a difference in people's health and in their lives."

For more information about donating plasma, visit OneBlood's website by clicking here.

According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health on Monday, there are 360,394 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, including 5,072 deaths.