Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has urged residents of his state to take the coronavirus vaccine, despite being a vocal opponent of pandemic mitigation efforts such as lockdowns and face mask warrants .
This week, Mr DeSantis called on Floridians to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
“If you are vaccinated, fully vaccinated, the risk that you will get seriously ill or die from COVID is effectively zero… These vaccines save lives,” he told a press conference.
Coronavirus cases in the state have increased over the past week, doubling among the state’s unvaccinated population. It is estimated that one in five new cases of Covid come out of Florida.
The announcement marks a break with Mr DeSantis’ usual resistance to coronavirus mitigation efforts.
As of this week, Mr DeSantis downplayed the growing number of cases in the state, dismissing the numbers as the mere result of the coronavirus being a seasonal virus.
“It’s a seasonal virus and it’s the seasonal pattern it follows in the Sun Belt states,” he said.
Mr. DeSantis made his resistance to federal intervention in Florida a selling point for his re-election, even offering “Don’t Fauci My Florida” merchandise on beer koozies and t-shirts through his official campaign team.
Last year Mr. DeSantis came under scrutiny after an investigation released by the South Florida Sunshine Sentinel found that the state had covered up the real number of coronavirus cases and “suppressed the adverse facts, spread dangerous disinformation, sacked public health professionals and promoted the views of scientific dissidents.”
Mr. DeSantis dismissed the allegations as “all political”.
Despite his resistance to policies that could have harmed state businesses, DeSantis has generally supported the vaccine, though he opposes measures such as vaccine passports or companies requiring customers to be vaccinated beforehand. to use their services.
In Florida, the governor has the power to override local coronavirus mandates. In May, he issued an executive order ending all local Covid-19 restrictions, warrants and emergency orders affecting businesses.
Because the blame ultimately ends with the governor, Mr DeSantis’ pressure to get Floridians to take the coronavirus vaccine may be an admission that he will ultimately be responsible if the number of cases in his condition continues to rise. .
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