Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Defends His Vaccine Distribution Methods in Press Conference Today
The Governor Insists He Did Everything Right
In a press conference in Brevard County on Wednesday, May 5th, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis met with a crowd in front of a wall of police chiefs from various police departments around the State of Florida. The goal was to announce that police would be receiving $1,000 bonuses alongside firefighters and EMTs, both of whom he'd already promised $1,000 in bonuses as emergency responders. This is in addition to DeSantis providing pay increases for teachers back in 2020 and a press conference yesterday to discuss what he dubbed "historic" raises for teachers, as well as changes to the way Florida educates our children.
As the press conference wrapped up, DeSantis was asked about the vaccine distribution by reporters. Right now, how the state and country are handling the pandemic seems to be on the forefront of everyone's minds, as pandemic fatigue has set in and I think everyone universally just wants to go back to something that resembles "normal."
The fears of medical health professionals and scientists alike have finally begun to materialize, with the U.S. hitting the "vaccine wall", the point in vaccinations where supply is significantly greater than demand. When this happens, at it's happening now, it's believed that those who wanted to be vaccinated have already gotten theirs, and those who are leftover are not interested in the COVID-19 vaccine...or they're at least skeptical.
At current, 42% of residents in the State of Florida have had at least one dose of a vaccine. 27% have gotten only one dose when they needed a second dose, and those people are either waiting for or have missed their second appointment.
During the pro-police rally, the Florida Governor said that much of the federal messaging around the vaccines has given people the wrong idea. He doubled down on his position that if you trust the vaccine, you'll trust his handling of the virus, things like his newest executive order that bars local governments from passing local mask ordinances.
The Governor further doubled down on his plan to vaccinate senior citizens first, noting that they're the most vulnerable to the virus. While it's true that new strains could start claiming younger victims more and more, much like the flu pandemic of 1918, we're just not seeing that yet.
He also reminded everyone present that Florid was the first state to insist on vaccinating seniors, at a time when other states opted to vaccinate their front-line workers, a debate which turned into yet another political battle over how to best handle the coronavirus pandemic and corresponding vaccine distribution.
DeSantis then went on to note that it's most of the high-risk people, those who needed the vaccine most, have already gotten it, noting that the vaccine hesitancy that we're beginning to see here isn't just a problem in Florida, as other states struggle to maximize their vaccinated populations to curb the spread of the virus into various pockets of society, prolonging the pandemic.
DeSantis argues that vaccine hesitancy isn't his responsibility, even though he was vaccinated in private, with no journalists present. It's something he's received a bit of criticism over. He wants to see Florida vaccinated, but he seems hesitant to endorse it publicly, at least strongly. Many other political figures and celebrities chose to get the vaccine in public to help ease fears about the vaccine.
He said at another press conference today, in Hillsborough County, that the vaccine data look great and that he thinks it's, "great," but he reiterated his stance that he doesn't think there needs to be an emergency mandate.