Casey DeSantis, first lady of Florida, has been diagnosed with breast cancer, her husband announced Monday.
“I am saddened to report that Florida’s esteemed First Lady and my beloved wife has been diagnosed with breast cancer,” Gov. Ron Desantis said in a statement. “As the mother of three young children, Casey is the centerpiece of our family and has made an impact on the lives of countless Floridians through her initiatives as First Lady.”
He went on, “As she faces the most difficult test of her life, she will have not only my unwavering support but the support of our entire family, as well as the prayers and well wishes from Floridians across our state. Casey is a true fighter, and she will never, never, never give up.”
Support for the family was immediate and bipartisan.
“Our hearts are with Florida’s First Lady Casey DeSantis and her family. We are all praying for you!” tweeted Nikki Fried, the state’s agriculture commissioner, who is running for governor as a Democrat. Fried re-issued her tweet in Spanish, then followed up to remind anyone who might reply that they should “show some empathy.”
“Casey is a mother of three and deserves our support in this difficult fight,” Fried said.
Meanwhile, numerous commenters on Twitter used the announcement to hit the governor for his response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He has questioned the effectiveness of masks and faced consistent criticism for the spiking infection rates in his state, which led political observers to quip Monday that the first lady might struggle to find a hospital with room for her following her diagnosis.