UPDATED 11:05 AM PT – Saturday, April 17, 2021
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is criticizing the federal government for halting efforts to reopen, and as a result, eroding the public’s trust.
While answering questions at a press conference on Friday, DeSantis accused federal agencies of trying to control the livelihood of Americans. He said their mandated lockdowns have caused multiple industries in the Sunshine State to suffer.
“What is the proper role of government, can an unelected agency just mothball an entire industry for a year with no end in sight? I mean they’ve done these things in the interim which aren’t going to make a difference. They won’t give a firm date of when you can just go,” DeSantis explained. “I think it raises a lot of implications far beyond just our economy or the cruise lines, and ultimately who governs.”
The Florida Republican went on to condemn health officials at the CDC and FDA for recommending a nationwide pause in administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after just six people reported adverse side effects.
“I must say that we are not helped in this regard by the behavior of some of these public health people, particularly in the federal government. I mean, how they handled the J&J I think was a huge mistake,” DeSantis said. “I mean, I don’t know the information they have, but if you’re going to do that you could’ve done that in a way that was not going to cause a lot of people to lose confidence. If you look at how people view J&J now, the positive view plunged as a result.”
According to the governor, poor messaging by the Biden White House throughout the pandemic has led to frustration and confusion, with many Floridians deciding against getting the vaccine.
“The messaging on this has been horrific. The messaging should be get a vaccine because it’s good for you to do it,” DeSantis stated. “It works. You’re not going to have to be doing anything abnormal. You can live your life. I mean, that has got to be what the message is. Unfortunately, I think the message has been very muddled.”
DeSantis said he believes in order for the state’s economy to recover, people need to trust in the vaccines.
“So my view is if you get a vaccine, the vaccines are effective, you are immune, and so act immune,” DeSantis stated. “If you tell people the opposite then why if it’s not effective for them and it’s not going to change anything, then what’s the point in going through it.”
While the governor supports vaccination, he assured his constituents that he would never make the shot mandatory.