MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – A spokesman for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has deactivated his Twitter account after he posted a tweet that said each photo of a dead COVID-19 victim should be balanced with 99 photos of people who survive the disease.

According to screenshots captured by a Miami Herald reporter and a reporter for WLRN, Fred Piccolo tweeted Wednesday in response to a photo gallery on COVID-19 victims and health care workers, “I’m wondering since 99% (of) Covid patients survive shouldn’t you have 99 photos of survivors for every one fatality? Otherwise, you’re just trying to create a narrative that is not reality.”

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The tweet has since been deleted.

In the past, Piccolo has questioned the effectiveness of face mask mandates and has said that COVID-19 is less deadly than the flu.

Piccolo told the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Wednesday he had already planned to leave the social media site.

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“I’ve made people far angrier with other things in the past. This is just an observation that I think was worthy of consternation,” Piccolo said. “But I said this was going to be my Christmas gift to myself to get off of the medium, so I said let’s do it.”

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Daniel Uhlfelder, an attorney who had filed a lawsuit against DeSantis in March trying to force beaches to close and a statewide shutdown, called Piccolo’s comments “disgusting.”

“He’s responsible for the communication message of the governor,” Uhlfelder said. “And he’s mocking or downplaying the deaths. It’s just inexcusable. I don’t know how you justify that. … This is not a game. These are people that are suffering and dying.”

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