Given another opportunity to offer commentary on his successor as Governor, Rick Scott was careful in his language on a Colombian radio interview Wednesday.
Scott was on La W Radio Colombia when he was asked about whether he supported Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “war against vaccines.” Scott did not endorse said “war” or DeSantis rhetorically.
“Well, what I think we ought to do for the public is give them good information. I think the approach should be that you give people good information. They’ll make good informed decisions about whether they should take the vaccine,” Scott said, before mentioning his own efforts in the U.S. Senate “to make sure our military members do not get kicked out of the military for not taking the vaccine.”
Scott’s comments come less than 24 hours after DeSantis announced his intention to form a Public Health Integrity Committee, after holding a roundtable discussing purported health complications as a result of the mRNA vaccines. Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, who was appointed by DeSantis during the pandemic, will helm that committee.
The Governor also wants a statewide grand jury, established by the Florida Supreme Court, that will probe the pharmaceutical industry’s marketing of vaccines and potential wrongs inflicted on the people of Florida in that process.
“The pharmaceutical industry has a notorious history of misleading the public for financial gain. Questions have been raised regarding the veracity of the representation made by the pharmaceutical manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccines, particularly with respect to transmission, prevention, efficacy and safety,” the petition notes.
Throughout the pandemic when asked about DeSantis’ approach to COVID-19, Scott has not clearly affirmed the Governor’s approach. In March 2020, after the first death from COVID-19 in Lee County, Scott first questioned the information coming from the Governor’s Office.
“I was a little surprised — I was very surprised, actually — when I heard about the death in Lee County, which is adjoining to the county I live in,” said Scott. “We didn’t know there was even a presumptive case.”
“I dealt with Zika when I was Governor, I dealt with hurricanes. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best, but do everything you can to keep the public informed, so they can make an informed decision,” Scott added.
He was only getting started. Later that year, Scott would hammer “inconsistent” messaging from DeSantis and other Governors, using the “good information” phrase to make his point again.
“What you’ve got to do is get out there and give good information,” Scott said. “This is not just for the Florida Governor, it’s for Governors around the country.”
“The difference between this and what I did with hurricanes when I was the Governor was I just inundated people with information,” the Senator said, also in July 2020.
Scott also took issue with the decision to curtail state testing in 2020 with Hurricane Isaias looming.
“You shut down a testing center, you just slow down information,” Scott said on the Fox News Rundown.
Christine Jordan Sexton of Florida Politics contributed to this report.