DeSantis in hot seat after top aide pushes anti-Semitic conspiracy theory

"DeSantis is gleefully swimming in a sea of conspiracy nuts"

Published November 18, 2021 4:30AM (EST)

Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis (Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis (Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

Long before anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists became obsessed with billionaire Democrat George Soros, they were obsessing over the Rothschild family and their firm Rothschild & Co. — which has been around since 1810. Christina Pushaw, a spokesperson for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, recently claimed that the Rothschilds played a role in the launch of a new COVID-19 vaccine passport system in the country Georgia. Pushaw had a playful, quirky tone, but journalist Jonathan Chait, in an article published by New York Magazine this week, stresses that the comment was nonetheless offensive.

On Twitter, Pushaw posted, "Georgia decided to enact a 'Green Pass' system (biomedical security state). Immediately after that, the Rothschilds show up to address the attractive investment environment in Georgia (lol). No weird conspiracy stuff here!"

Chait points out that Pushaw misrepresented what actually happened in Georgia.

"First of all, the timing is completely wrong," Chait explains. "Georgia did not announce its green-pass system 'immediately' after meeting with the Rothschilds. The Rothschild meeting occurred five months ago."

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Chait continues, "Second, many countries have implemented COVID pass systems. A handful of Asian countries, as well as Europe and, um, Israel, are setting up passport systems that will allow people to gather in public indoor spaces. DeSantis and his spokespeople are furious about this because they believe people who refuse vaccinations should not be denied any privileges, either by a government or a private company. Indeed, this has become DeSantis' defining agenda."

The journalist points out that Pushaw is "happy to" pander to the "right-wing conspiracy theorists" who are "an important part of DeSantis' power base."

"Pushaw almost certainly stumbled onto this news because some conspiracy theorist in her social network brought it to her attention," Chait writes. "The anti-vaxx movement is filled to the brim with conspiracy theorists, and conspiracy theorists have a deep attraction to anti-Semitism…. DeSantis is gleefully swimming in a sea of conspiracy nuts, and those conspiracy nuts are inevitably going to include a healthy share of anti-Semites."

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Fear-mongering over the Rothschilds, Chait notes, can be found in "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," which was published around 1902 and promoted anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Many anti-Semites and White nationalists consider it essential reading.

Journalist Yair Rosenberg, in a Twitter thread this week, also called Pushaw out, posting:

By Alex Henderson

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