On April 9, the Florida Governor's office published a memo which added "professional sports and media production" to the list of essential services in the state. This has allowed WWE to continue running shows like Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown from the Performance Center in Orlando, Florida.
On the same day the memo was published, Linda McMahon's Super PAC, America First Action, pledged to spend $18.5 million on broadcast advertising in Florida in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election as part of their efforts to re-elect Donald Trump.
A spokesperson for America First Action dismissed any link between the pledge and WWE being designated as an essential business, adding that it is part of "Trump Derangement Syndrome" and that any idea of a connection was "looking to connect some sort of dots that simply don't exist."
Yesterday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also dismissed the idea that the two announcements were connected. He said America First Action's announcement had nothing to do with him and he instead designated WWE as an essential business because he wanted to provide people with "outlets" while they're in lockdown.
DeSantis said: "What does that have to do with me? Have they supported me?...Here's the thing, I support doing things. I mentioned NASCAR, I talked to Lesa Kennedy, I want them to race. I think the public would like to see, it's going to be on TV, I understand you're not going to fill up Daytona Speedway right now and I'm not suggesting you do. But I think if there's content that can be created, I think that's a good thing and even Dr Fauci said 'Televised sports is a positive thing.'
"There's not a lot for people to look at right now and I think you're starting to see this does start to wear on some people after a while, so my view would be let's do what we need to do to stop the spread, to make sure we're flattening the curve but at the same time you can give people some outlets…That's kind of the deal, but obviously, people can look up anyone who's supported me. If there's no support it would be really hard to draw that connection at that point. Not that it would be legitimate anyways, but in this case, the factual predicate isn’t even there."