On Friday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) insisted that whether or not a person gets a Covid-19 vaccine comes down to “personal choice.”
“It’s about your health and whether you want that protection or not. It really doesn’t impact me or anyone else,” he said at the time.
DeSantis’s remarks opened him up to harsh criticism from the editorial board of the Miami Herald, who admonished him for exhibiting “a profile in selfishness.”
“Almost 46,000 have died of COVID in his state since the pandemic began. Too bad we can’t ask the thousands who have died since vaccines became available if they wished everyone around them had gotten vaccinated,” the board wrote.
“This governor already has gone to war against school boards and parents who want to keep kids safer in schools with mask mandates. He’s fought against cruise lines that want to preserve their businesses by making sure their customers can stay COVID-free on ships, by requiring vaccines. Now he’s dismissing the role of vaccines in reducing community spread,” they added. “And it’s the opposite of what he says. COVID’s spread actually is a community problem, and solving it starts with vaccines.”
The board went on to note that Covid-19 vaccines “vastly reduces the chances of being hospitalized or dying of the disease” as well as reduce “the spread of the virus to others.” saying that DeSantis is flagrantly disregarding the reality of how vaccines work.
DeSantis’s claim also earned a sharp rebuke from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases.
“If he (DeSantis) feels that vaccines are not important for people, that they are just important for some people, that’s completely incorrect,” Fauci said during a broadcast of CNN’s “New Day.”
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.