Marco Rubio defends right to refuse coronavirus vaccine
Image via AP.

Rubio said that personal choice, not ideology, drives vax refusal.

As Florida experiences a surge in delta variant COVID-19 cases, vaccination rates are again under scrutiny, with fewer than half of Floridians getting the shot.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, though he has the shot, is defending the right not to get the vaccine. On Wednesday, he took issue with claims that Republicans are the main bloc refusing coronavirus vaccines.

“But at the end of the day, it’s up to people to make that decision,” Rubio said on CBS “This Morning.” “The government, in a free society such as ours, there’s only so much that they can do. They can provide information. We can debunk things that aren’t true. We can provide access. It’s ultimately up to people individually to make that decision.”

Rubio went on to say that, regarding polling showing nearly 30% of Republicans will not get the shot, that refusal of coronavirus vaccines is not just “ideological.”

“Well, I don’t think the skepticism is just among Republicans,” Rubio said. “I see all kinds of voices that I don’t even think are ideological. People decided they wanted to believe something they read somewhere.”

When pressed, he replied: “There are also communities, some African American and Hispanic communities in Florida where there’s a high hesitancy to get the vaccine as well for a whole variety of reasons.”

“It’s really not a partisan issue. I don’t care what the polling says,” Rubio added. “At the end of the day, the vaccine is the vaccine. It’s a human thing and you either take it, or you don’t. There are some people who don’t want to be vaccinated, and you won’t convince them. I have family members; I have friends that I’ve known for a long time. Smart, educated people who just refuse to do it.”

The Senator does believe in vaccines, noting that people have the right to make catastrophic choices.

“People should get vaccinated,” Rubio advised. “The government’s been telling people for a long time that they shouldn’t smoke, that it causes cancer and heart disease and people decide to do it. The numbers have come down, but people still do it.”

“They tell us to watch what we eat. If you’re overweight, you can develop diabetes and heart disease, but it still happens. And my whole point here is that I think everyone who wants — everyone should be vaccinated. There’s no reason not to be vaccinated. I’m vaccinated. My family’s vaccinated. People shouldn’t listen to the people that tell them not to. All these things out there that are being said are just not accurate.”

For months, vaccine hesitancy has been a topic of discussion, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis theorizing in the spring that mask mandates made people wary of the jabs.

“I think that they’ve sent a message to say get vaccinated, but it really ain’t going to do anything for you,” DeSantis said in May. “Well, why would someone want to put something in their arm if they don’t think it’s effective?”

The month before, DeSantis said President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris had personally contributed to vaccine hesitancy by “saying this was a bad vaccine.”


Florida Politics’ Renzo Downey contributed to this post.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • LARRY douglas MYERS

    July 21, 2021 at 9:47 am

    DOES HE THINK HE’ S jim jones now?

    • Frankie M.

      July 21, 2021 at 10:15 am

      I agree with lil Marco. People have the right to choose death. He’s pro-abortion and euthanasia too right? If nothing else it will help thin the herd of faux news watching mouthbreathers which isn’t so much reverse darwinism as it is bigger picture darwinism if you will. Even Jason Fischer has come out pro-vaccine once he got his marching orders from Sean Hannity. It’s amazing how quickly these talking heads change their tune once their parent company gets slapped with lawsuits for spreading false information.

    • Matthew Lusk

      July 21, 2021 at 4:58 pm

      Daddy’s got a brand new cup of vax.

  • zhombre

    July 21, 2021 at 10:55 am

    Ho hum. The usual confection of vitriol, stupidity and incoherence from Frankie M. Keep up the good work.

    • tjb

      July 21, 2021 at 11:01 am

      zhombre, did your Mother allow you to play on the computer today? Do you even know what vitriol means?

      • zhombre

        July 21, 2021 at 11:03 am


  • tjb

    July 21, 2021 at 10:58 am

    I guess I will not need to have my children vaccinated for attending Florida schools according to Marco. These vaccinations are now required :
    Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13)
    Hepatitis B (Hep B)
    “Give me liberty, or give me death!” –I guess death is my choice with Marco logic.

    • zhombre

      July 21, 2021 at 11:04 am

      I’m sorry to hear you reproduced.

      • Tjb

        July 21, 2021 at 11:13 am

        No, I am your father, zHombre.

        • zhombre

          July 21, 2021 at 11:24 am

          Some people have an uncanny ability to hit bottom and keep on digging.

          • Ocean Joe

            July 21, 2021 at 11:41 am

            Like voting for Trump one more time?

          • zhombre

            July 21, 2021 at 11:45 am

            DeSantis 2024

  • Ocean Joe

    July 21, 2021 at 11:39 am

    “People should get vaccinated,” Rubio advised. Harvard educated Ron Desantis got vaccinated. Wharton School of Business graduate who threatened to sue the school if they released his grades Donald Trump got vaccinated. Ocean Reefers and the ritzy SW Fla development got vaccinated…in fact they jumped the line for it.
    Instead of trafficking in antivaxxer fears for political gain, and telling folks it’s OK not to get vaccinated, how bout some leadership.

  • JoAnne

    July 21, 2021 at 3:37 pm

    All the people here who believe they know all about vaccines should take a breather. If you got the vaccine, you are supposedly protected so everyone else’s medical status is none of your business. Now go back to the blue hole you came from.

  • Palm City

    July 21, 2021 at 3:37 pm

    If someone eats too many cheeseburgers or smokes they are harming their own health. They aren’t going to infect your unvaccinated grandparents or your immunocompromised child with a potentially fatal illness with their poor personal health choices. This a specious, nonsensical argument from law school graduate Senator Rubio.

  • Matthew Lusk

    July 21, 2021 at 4:56 pm

    Unlike abortion where there are two bodies. It’s my body- my choice with the vax

    • Michael Hoffmann

      July 23, 2021 at 9:06 pm

      Fine, but you shouldn’t be making that decision for anyone else, then. Right?

  • Tom Palmer

    July 21, 2021 at 5:30 pm

    Fox requires all of their bloviators to get vaccinated. They cynically rail against vaccines and masks anyway. Hypocrites,

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn