Unwittingly, Ron offers us plenty of comic relief

By Berl Falbaum

We are going to examine some remarks by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is running for the Republican nomination for president and who is sounding more like Herschel Walker every day.

You remember Walker?  He was a candidate for the Senate in Georgia who told us that we suffer from air pollution because our good air decided to move to China and that we have enough trees. He also remembered earning a university degree -- which he did not -- but forgot about a son whom he had.

Recently, DeSantis was asked if he would consider Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a Democratic candidate for president, as a possible running mate. No, he replied, but he would consider him to head the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Said DeSantis: “If you’re president, sic him on the FDA if he would be willing to serve or sic him on CDC.”

Now, Kennedy is an “anti-vaxxer” who opposed the COVID vaccine, labeling it “deadly and ineffective.” He also believes vaccines cause autism.

What caught my eye -- being Jewish -- he also said that some research has revealed that COVID disproportionately targeted some ethnic groups while sparing Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people.
DeSantis’ use of “sic him” seems appropriate given its most commonly invoked to command dogs to attack someone.

If only Dr. Fauci had been aware of this science. He could have advised people to wear masks, get vaccinated and/or convert to Judaism.  (You can’t convert to become Chinese.) Those converting might not even have had to wear masks or get the shots.

With slightly more than 15 million Jews worldwide, we sure could use more members of the tribe.

When I read Kennedy’s incisive medical views, I went to see my rabbi to ask if he ever read about this in the Torah.

He said he had not but he is continuing his studies and consulting with experts in the Old Testament.

I suggested that we might make COVID a Jewish holiday, explaining that on Passover, when we celebrate winning our freedom from slavery, we thank God for sparing us from the 10 plagues inflicted on the Egyptians. It seems appropriate to thank Him for sparing us from COVID.

Kennedy’s revelations created serious personal problems for me because I have some Jewish relatives and friends who caught COVID. Were they really Jewish? Of course, I knew they weren’t Chinese.  

But then Kennedy also made the point that COVID did not infect Ashkenazi Jews, those from Germany, Central and Eastern Europe, but he did not mention Sephardic Jews who come from Spain, North Africa and the Middle East. So maybe those who became ill were Sephardic Jews. As of we did not have enough trouble already with the division between conservative, orthodox and reform Jews.

On a personal note, I am an Ashkenazi Jew, but I also spent 10 years in Shanghai with my family as refugees from the Nazi Holocaust. Would those 10 years count for some immunity?  

I went to my favorite Chinese restaurant and asked the owner if any of his employees or friends/relatives caught COVID. Yes, he replied, several did. Maybe there are Sephardic Chinese. I left wondering whether his establishment was really a Chinese restaurant.  Maybe it was just a front.

In our off-the-record interviews, we learned that DeSantis is considering appointing officials of the Flat Earth Society, whose members believe the Earth is flat, to run NASA.

Then, the governor supported the Florida Board of Education’s adoption of a new African-American studies curriculum that would cover “personal benefits” derived from slavery.

Observed DeSantis: "They're probably going to show that some of the folks that eventually parlayed, you know, being a blacksmith into doing things later in life.”

This sent us to do some research on blacksmiths. According to the Internet, there are 616 blacksmiths in the U.S of which six are in Miami-Dade County, Fla. The state also has a Florida Artist Blacksmith Association. But its mission statement makes no mention of slavery.  

Only 5 percent of blacksmiths are African-Americans and 69 percent are white. We tried, but could not find out, if the 5 percent are descendants of slaves and are practicing the trade because of personal benefits enjoyed under slavery by their ancestors. We assume that none of the white blacksmiths had relatives who were slaves.

There were numerous news stories recently about DeSantis being in financial trouble and drastically cutting his campaign staff. Perhaps he should have hired aides whose ancestors were slaves and helped with the finances on plantations.

With Herschel Walker gone from the political scene, we hope DeSantis makes it through the general election. We’ll enjoy some “personal benefits” given the relief he offers from our ugly presidential politics.
Berl Falbaum is a veteran journalist and author of 12 books.