Ron DeSantis urges vaccinations, blames mainstream messaging for skeptics
Will the COVID-19 spike come back to bite Ron DeSantis? Image via AP.

DeSantis 7.12.21
Chastising holdouts won't make them change their mind, the Governor says.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday joined the chorus of prominent conservatives urging people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, but he continued criticizing the federal government’s approach.

COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations are on the rise nationwide, particularly in Florida. One statistic released by the White House estimated that 20% of new cases last week occurred in Florida.

Conservative regions have largely trailed in vaccinations. This week, Republican officials and conservative media figures reignited calls for people to get the shot.

Taking his turn during a press conference in St. Petersburg, DeSantis stressed the vaccine’s effectiveness.

The chances of a fully vaccinated person getting seriously ill or dying is “effectively zero,” DeSantis said. “Moreover, nearly 95% of those admitted to hospitals with the disease aren’t fully vaccinated,” he continued before dismissing the “one-offs” who still get seriously ill.

“These vaccines are saving lives. They are reducing mortality,” DeSantis said.

However, he criticized the federal government and local officials on multiple fronts as they try to convince holdouts to get inoculated.

According to data released from the Florida Department of Health last week, only 51.2% of the state’s eligible population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. That’s despite vaccines being widely available for months.

Most of them don’t believe COVID-19 is a hoax, DeSantis said. Most unvaccinated people are younger, and therefore, they’re calculating that they could handle an infection, a decision he said he understands.

To reach unvaccinated people, it’s important to be honest about the risks of COVID-19, he added.

“I think that the more they’re hectored by government officials or some of these folks, that is not going to get them to yes, I can tell you that right now,” DeSantis said. “I think these are folks that have skepticism of authorities.”

DeSantis again blamed the federal government for a drop-off in Johnson & Johnson inoculations, tying it to when the Food and Drug Administration halted the one-shot J&J vaccine in April to investigate possible blood clot side effects.

Officials concluded that side effect is rare. Over the 11-day pause, they found only 15 recipients who developed related blood clots.

“I think it was a huge mistake. I said so at the time, and I think that that sent a message that maybe this is not something that they should be doing,” DeSantis said. “I think that’s been unfortunate because I took it. I think it’s effective.”

DeSantis also reprised his claim that officials asking vaccinated people to continue wearing masks dissuades inoculations. Local jurisdictions issuing that call make him “a little bit frustrated.”

“Understand what that message is sending to people who aren’t vaccinated,” DeSantis said. “It’s telling them that the vaccines don’t work. I think that’s the worst message you can send to people at this time.”

DeSantis’ comments this week followed his reelection committee unveiling merchandise last week, including T-shirts and beer koozies that read “Don’t Fauci My Florida.” That’s a nod to DeSantis’ anti-mask, anti-lockdown approach to the pandemic despite calls from President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, to plot a different course.

During the press conference, DeSantis also predicted the summer “wave” to continue through August, as it did last year.

The number of new cases in the last seven-day period nearly doubled from the previous week, marking the fourth consecutive week of increasing cases, according to DOH. The current wave is the first time since early April the number of new cases grew from one week to the next. That comes as the number of doses administered declined for the fifth straight week.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


15 comments

  • Matthew Lusk

    July 21, 2021 at 4:39 pm

    If one’s goal is to create the 4th Reich of absolute world subjugation, the independence of the U.S. must be destroyed. A more supreme tactic than frontal assault is secret infiltration of institutions and personnel. Dumbing down, sickening, and bankrupting the general populations with special focus on patriots and counter-revolutionaries. The Jesuit order along with the Nazi underground have captured the fake banking systems of the world. The coup-de-gras could very well be a two part killer vax, not the virus, which was basically known to be ineffectual, created in Bethesda Maryland and released near a straw man lab near Wuhan. Use a fake vax to kill counter revolutionaries with what looks to be pandemic pneumonia. Get real folks the Nazi alliance controls the pharmaceutical industry both over the counter and street, millions dead every year. The Roman anglo Saxon alliance has almost pinned the world. The enemy fewer than 5000 men near the top where women,blacks, Christians and Jews have absolutely no say know their targets. Weaponized biologics are better than a gross of neutron bombs, more effectual in the kill rate with nil destruction to the infrastructure. I would think myself a complete idiot to take the vax knowing how much I’ve researched ulterior motives of the monied elite.

    • Mark Smither

      July 24, 2021 at 7:12 pm

      Have you had a mental health check-up lately?

  • Tom Palmer

    July 21, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    Let me get this straight. DeSantis wants people to get vaccinated, but he doesn’t want the federal (read Democratic) government to encourage vaccinations.

    • Tom J.

      July 21, 2021 at 5:50 pm

      Yes, Tom Palmer, you read that article correctly. Plus he blames the FDA for anti-vax sentiment because they paused the J&J shot to look into the blood clot issue, and he blames the promotion of mask-wearing for making it look like the vaccination doesn’t work.
      I guess if he ever has surgery, he’ll tell the doctors and nurses to forgo masks because it makes it seem like the antiseptics and antibiotics they use don’t work.

      • T. Heiss

        July 21, 2021 at 10:48 pm

        Truth is the vaccine(s) ARE dangerous and the LEFTIST PRPOAGANDA media is NOT talking about the LARGE numbers dying or maimed from it/them. .I didn’t think anyone could get to a Navy Seal like that ..but some one has swayed him…or threatened he or ones he loves…that IS quite a common leftist tactic these days..and Dr(?) Faux-ci is a pathos liar and he DID kill ALL his AIDS patients with his experimental treatments and never was punished for that mass murder…and Napoleonic chit weasels seldom change their ways…

        • Andrew D

          July 23, 2021 at 9:57 am

          Sean Hannity, Rupert Murdoch, all Fox & Friends hosts have come out in support of the vaccine, Newsmax CEO has come out in support of the vaccine, several well known Republican governors have come out in support of the vaccine, Mitch McConnell and Steve Scalise have come out in favor of the vaccine. The list goes on, people are dying from the disease, I know 6 in my circle of friends and relatives. There is a conspiracy going on, and it’s that the vaccine is dangerous. The vaccine is the cure that WE developed to fight the bioweapon developed by our enemies. Don’t be a fool and fall for the propaganda that the vaccine is dangerous, that’s what our enemies want, they want us to die from covid.

          • Jan

            July 23, 2021 at 3:32 pm

            The unapproved experimental shot is horrendous and has caused 50,000 deaths. You might want to research Florida M.D. Dr. Jane Ruby… STOP with the bravo sierra. The majority of people coming into the hospitals now are one’s who have taken the shot. STOP LISTENING TO THE LAME RHETORIC OF BIRD CAGE LINER PAPERS AND THE MSM.

    • JT

      July 31, 2021 at 11:43 am

      You missed the whole article, read it again…

  • Tom

    July 21, 2021 at 6:47 pm

    You naive partisans, this Governor held more public events than any other Governor in the country on a daily basis encouraging vaccines.
    He criss crossed the state for weeks sharing data and encouraging it. Just cheap shots from usual suspects. Go Governor Ron!

  • Sonja Fitch

    July 22, 2021 at 8:03 am

    Duffus Desantis is such an embarrassment! One minute hell no vaccines. Next minute get them there vaccines. Duffus Desantis really pals with pervert Gaetz? Duffus Desantis , Do you even care how scitzo you look?

    • jan

      July 23, 2021 at 3:33 pm

      THEN MOVE

  • Tom

    July 23, 2021 at 1:08 am

    Red Sonja, you know not what you speak. Gov Ron has always encouraged vaccines. He led the Nation with seniors. Red Sonja, Sonja.

  • James Michailides

    July 25, 2021 at 11:59 am

    I’m a dreamer, we need term limition or a 3rd party system. I don’t care if you’ll are democrat or republican they keep taking from us. So we have to do something before it’s all gone. These elected officials who are the ones that make the laws And it seems to work very well for themselves and not us. Filibusters voters rights redistricting. Sure there laws I don’t like either. But it works both ways in the end. We have the awful country that everybody wants to come to?

  • Matt Prusecki

    July 29, 2021 at 4:59 am

    Did Ron DeSantis join the death cult.

Comments are closed.


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