Matt Gaetz Jokes About Catching ‘The Florida Variant’ of Covid: ‘It Affects The Brain’

gaetz florida man rally

Screenshot via Twitter.

As Covid-19 cases hit a record high in Florida — 21,683 new cases, the highest daily total since the pandemic began, according to the AP — self-proclaimed “Florida Man” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) used the contagious virus as fodder for jokes at several rallies held on Saturday, telling his audience that instead of catching the Delta variant, he had caught the “Florida variant.”

Gaetz kicked off his “Florida Man Freedom Tour” on Saturday and video clips from his event in Largo, Fl. showed the congressman mocking experts who had been warning people to “look out for the Delta variant, or the Lambda variant — next it’s going to be like the Chi Omega variant.”

“I got the Florida variant!” Gaetz continued. “I got the freedom variant! It affects the brain. It gets you to think for yourself, where you don’t just surrender to the truth that they’re trying to create in corrupt Big Media.”

According to Florida Today, Gaetz made similar comments about catching a “Florida variant” at the rally in Melbourne, Fl., which he claimed provided skills in “hunting, fishing, and hugging your family.”

Gaetz also called Dr. Anthony Fauci a “sniveling little twit.”

This “Florida Man Freedom Tour” follows an “America First” tour Gaetz held with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), a series of events that generated headlines both for Gaetz and Greene’s own comments and for the difficulty the duo had in finding locations willing to host them. One particular event in California was cancelled three times after venues cited security concerns.

A spokesperson for the Hilton Melbourne Beach Oceanfront, the venue for Gaetz’s Melbourne event, told Florida Today that the event had been registered under the name “Logan Circle Group” and they did not know that the Florida congressman would be speaking.

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Sarah Rumpf joined Mediaite in 2020 and is a Contributing Editor focusing on politics, law, and the media. A native Floridian, Sarah attended the University of Florida, graduating with a double major in Political Science and German, and earned her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the UF College of Law. Sarah's writing has been featured at National Review, The Daily Beast, Reason, Law & Crime, Independent Journal Review, Texas Monthly, The Capitolist, Breitbart Texas, Townhall, RedState, The Orlando Sentinel, and the Austin-American Statesman, and her political commentary has led to appearances on the BBC, MSNBC, NewsNation, Fox 35 Orlando, Fox 7 Austin, The Young Turks, The Dean Obeidallah Show, and other television, radio, and podcast programs across the globe.