DeSantis rips critics of public absence as wife undergoes cancer treatment: 'Chemotherapy is not a vacation'

Ocasio-Cortez and boyfriend Riley Roberts left New York's 14th District for a Miami vacation last week.

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Critics of Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis questioned his sudden public absence last week, while the governor later disclosed he had cleared his public schedule to support his wife Casey during her recurring cancer treatments, a list that included Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who was simultaneously blasted for fleeing her pro-lockdown state of New York for freer Miami with boyfriend Riley Roberts.

"Hasn’t Gov. DeSantis been inexplicably missing for like two weeks? If he’s around, I would be happy to say hello," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted last week from sunny South Florida.

Florida State Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, one of three Democrats challenging DeSantis in his 2022 reelection bid, told MSNBC around the same time she "d[idn]t know where he is."

Another top Florida Democrat, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings further questioned the absence during a coronavirus briefing on December 28, querying: "Where is Ron DeSantis now?", according to Forbes.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 03: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks during a press conference on June 03, 2021. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 03: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks during a press conference on June 03, 2021. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

On Monday's "Hannity", DeSantis responded to both criticisms of his absence, and the occasion of Ocasio-Cortez venturing from a heavily restricted New York City to largely unrestricted Miami:

"When people try to say that that’s a vacation, I think anyone that’s gone through those [cancer] treatments would not agree that chemotherapy is a vacation," he said.

"And so my wife has had to go through that. I’ve accompanied her to all those treatments, trying to be a supportive husband, so that’s what we were doing on the one day where I didn’t have anything on my public calendar – because it is a private matter."

Ron DeSantis with wife Casey DeSantis in 2018. Jayme Gershen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ron DeSantis with wife Casey DeSantis in 2018. Jayme Gershen/Bloomberg via Getty Images (Jayme Gershen/Bloomberg)

"I can tell you when you have people like that congresswoman who ripped Florida because we are open, who say you need lockdown policies and then the first chance they get they come running down to my state. If I had a dollar for every lockdown politician that’s done that over the last two years, I’d be awfully wealthy right now," he concluded, speaking of the left-wing Bronx lawmaker.

Prior to the interview, DeSantis' intrastate Republican colleague Sen. Rick Scott told "Fox & Friends" that Ocasio-Cortez must be "on a fact-finding mission to see what freedom is like."

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Host Sean Hannity further commented it was incredulous of Ocasio-Cortez to claim criticisms of her vacation had something to do with alleged sexual motivation – after the progressive lawmaker claimed conservative critics are upset they cannot date her.

"[A]ccording to the congresswoman, any criticism of her vacation – I don’t get this part, is somehow sexually motivated. You have to explain that to me," the host remarked.