Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) spoke out this week to say that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) regrets only that he locked down Florida at all “for even one day” amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gaetz told Politico that DeSantis has only expressed the regret that he ever embraced any lockdown measures, even if he only did so briefly and temporarily.

“He told me that his biggest regret as governor is that we ever locked down for even one day,” Gaetz said of DeSantis.

Last year, on April 1, DeSantis issued a one month stay-at-home order that he did not renew, and he never issued a mask mandate. While this drew criticism from the establishment media, DeSantis had faith in the people of Florida, and he never backed down.

“We will never do any of these lockdowns again, and I hear people say they’ll shut down the country, and honestly I cringe,” DeSantis said during a press briefing on August 31.

DeSantis went on to say at the time that the peak of the pandemic was behind Florida, pointing out that positive coronavirus patients hospitalized is “down nearly 60 percent statewide from our July peak.”

“We gained jobs, 74,000, I think, private-sector jobs in July. Just imagine if we had shut down the state, we would have lost another 3- 400,000 jobs. And so I think that we understand what we need to do,” DeSantis said, citing places that have the most “draconian” lockdowns, like Peru, as a contrast.

“Military enforced since March,” he continued. “They have the highest per capita mortality in the world from COVID. And at best, what the lockdown will do is delay. It does not reduce the ultimate mortality. […] it creates a lot of other problems with mortality that a lot of people don’t necessarily focus on.”

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“He’s managed the pandemic better than any other governor in the country,” said John Morgan, a prominent Orlando attorney and unaffiliated Democratic (and sometimes also Republican) megadonor. “On the pandemic—as of this writing—DeSantis won.”

In fact, DeSantis did so well managing the pandemic that some say a presidential run could be in his future.

“If Trump doesn’t run, he is the clear frontrunner,” said David Jolly, a former Florida Republican Congressman.