Randi Weingarten backpedals after claiming DeSantis would cause 'millions' to die in Florida

American Federation of Teachers president walked back her claim Thursday

Randi Weingarten, president of the largest U.S. teachers' union, on Thursday walked back her claim that "millions" of people would die under Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' leadership.

Weingarten said in a Wednesday tweet that "millions of Floridians are going to die for Ron DeSantis' ignorance" in response to an article from The Washington Post pointing out anti-Dr. Anthony Fauci merchandise on the Republican governor's official website.

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After receiving some criticism for her hyperbole, the American Federation of Teachers president backtracked the claim on Thursday.

"You are all probably right… I shouldn’t have said millions," Weingarten tweeted. "I should have just said DeSantis was wrong to do this.. Fauci is an amazing public servant. He shoudn’t be mocked. But I shouldn’t engage in that kind of hyperbole either. My bad…"

Christina Pushaw, DeSantis' press secretary, had shot back at Weingarten's claim, touting the governor's record during the pandemic.

"Florida’s COVID death rate is lower than the national average, and unlike the Governor of New York, we don’t fudge the numbers," Pushaw wrote in a tweet. "Meanwhile, Randi Weingarten ruined the education of millions of kids by keeping them out of school for more than a year based on a conspiracy theory."

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Florida was one of the first states to completely reopen schools and businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

There have been 2.3 million total coronavirus cases and more than 38,000 related deaths in Florida. 

The state on Monday announced 12,624 additional coronavirus cases, marking the second-highest one-day rise in cases in the country, with 35 new deaths. On Sunday, Florida set a new national record for the largest daily increase in coronavirus cases in the U.S. at 15,300.

Fox News' Joseph A. Wulfson and Stephen Sorace contributed to this report.