Gov. Ron DeSantis remains vague about whether he has received the COVID-19 booster shot.
In Sarasota Friday, the Governor was asked whether he had gotten the booster, a question he evaded previously, and he suggested yet again he may not have gotten the shot.
“So that’s something that I think people should make their own decisions on. I’m not going to let that be a weapon for people to use. I think that’s a private matter,” DeSantis said before turning the question as a cudgel against the Joe Biden administration.
“The FDA recommended against boosters for people in my age group, and the CDC overrode that,” DeSantis continued. “And I think that was based on politics.”
The Governor said two top Food and Drug Administration (FDA) people resigned because of that.
“Many people didn’t hear about that. You know why? Because it didn’t fit the narrative. If you had a President of a different party, that would have been hair-on-fire stuff.”
DeSantis’ vaccination status got new scrutiny this week. Former President Donald Trump addressed politicians and COVID-19 booster vaccines Tuesday, with comments some interpreted as a slam at DeSantis.
In an interview with Dan Ball of One America News, Trump defended his pro-vaccination stance, 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 on 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.”
Last month, Florida Politics asked DeSantis Press Secretary Christina Pushaw about DeSantis’ comments. She responded by saying she is “not able to speak to his private medical decisions.”
This was a shift for the DeSantis administration, which confirmed the Governor got the original Johnson & Johnson vaccine 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.