A week after the Category 4 hurricane struck, killing more than 100 people and causing billions of dollars in damage, Mr. DeSantis continued to insist that all Floridians be warned to evacuate.
That included people in places like Lee County, where many people died and which issued an evacuation order a day after other areas.
Many believed the storm would hit Tampa. As it did, Ian moved south and delivered a crushing blow to Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel Island, both on Lee Island.
Talking to conservative media Voice of FloridaMr. DeSantis said he was fed up with the “texting match” he claimed was taking place.
Editor-in-Chief Brendan Leslie asked him if the media should be “held accountable” given that they were reporting that Tampa was likely to be hit.
“Honestly, you have a national media that … wanted to see Tampa because they thought it would be worse for Florida. That’s how these people think,” Mr. DeSantis said. “They do not care about the people of this state. They do not care about the people of this community. They want to use the storms and the destruction from the storms as a way to push their agenda.”
A firefighter saves a girl from Hurricane Jan
He added: “And they don’t care what destruction is behind them. They don’t care about life here. If they can use it to further their political agenda, they will.”
Mr. DeSantis, who has previously clashed with reporters from outlets such as CNN when pressed about his handling of the pandemic response, did not specify which outlets he was referring to.
He also offered no evidence to support the claim that the media wanted to see Tampa hit, and his interviewer didn’t ask for it.