Former U.S. President Donald Trump addressed politicians and COVID-19 booster vaccines Tuesday, with comments some are interpreting as a slam at Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Trump defended his pro-vaccination stance in an interview with Dan Ball of One America News, needling politicians who wouldn’t say if they had gotten booster shots.
“Well, I’ve taken it,” said Trump, as quoted by Mediaite. “I’ve had the booster. Many politicians — I watched a couple of politicians be interviewed and one of the questions was, ‘Did you get the booster?’ – because they had the vaccine — and they’re answering like — in other words, the answer is ‘yes’ but they don’t want to say it. Because they’re gutless. You gotta say it — whether you had it or not. Say it. But the fact is that I think the vaccines saved tens of millions throughout the world. I’ve had absolutely no side-effects.”
Trump did not mention DeSantis by name, but certain headline writers (notably the left-of-center Daily Beast website) framed the remarks as Trump “roasting” DeSantis.
Florida’s Governor left himself wide open to this interpretation when he refused to divulge whether he got the shot in an otherwise friendly interview Dec. 19.
“I’ve done whatever I did, the normal shot, and that at the end of the day is people’s individual decisions about what they want to do,” DeSantis said when he was asked if he had received a booster shot by host Maria Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures.
Florida Politics asked DeSantis Press Secretary Christina Pushaw about DeSantis’ comments last month. She responded she is “not able to speak to his private medical decisions.”
This was a shift for the DeSantis administration, which confirmed at least one gubernatorial inoculation last Spring.
The Associated Press reported in April that DeSantis had received the single-dose vaccine. The information was confirmed after the fact by the Governor’s Office.