After Gov. Ron DeSantis asserted vaccinations won’t slow COVID-19 infection rates, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried slammed him for spreading disinformation.
“It’s extraordinarily dangerous and irresponsible for Governor DeSantis to continue to lie about the vaccine — which he’s done twice in as many days,” Fried, a Democrat, said of the Republican Governor. “By saying vaccines don’t help anyone but the recipient (not true) and that breakthrough cases among vaccinated aren’t rare (also not true), he’s continuing to impede the health and economic recovery of our state.”
Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner also said reporters should reconsider what they repeat from DeSantis’ pulpit.
“No news outlet should broadcast the Governor’s misinformation without immediate editorial correction with the facts,” she said.
DeSantis drew ire when declaring at a press conference Friday that when it comes to vaccination, “it’s about your health and whether you want that protection or not. It really doesn’t impact me or anyone else.”
That has drawn sharp rebuke, including from Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden.
“If he feels that vaccines are not important for people, that they’re just important for some people, that’s completely incorrect,” Fauci told CNN.
DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw at the time derided Fauci’s comments as part of an administration and media attack on DeSantis.
“Instead of asking Fauci about his agency’s (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) funding of highly risky bat coronavirus research at Wuhan Institute of Virology — which could have caused the COVID-19 pandemic — state media launches their 8,000th dishonest attack on Gov. Ron DeSantis,” she tweeted about the CNN interview.
DeSantis, while promoting early treatment utilizing monoclonal antibodies, asserted a very high number of vaccinated individuals still catch the virus.
“It’s not really a rare thing to get infected at this point,” he said.
That seemed to reference a documented drop-off in efficacy for vaccines acknowledged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, though vaccines are still shown to be 66% effective even amid the surge spurred by the delta variant of the coronavirus.
Fried, Florida’s only Democrat currently holding statewide office, announced she’s challenging DeSantis’ reelection next year instead of seeking another term as Agriculture Commissioner. She faces U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist in the Democratic Primary for Governor, and the winner of that contest will go up against DeSantis next November.