Ron DeSAntsantis

Ron DeSantis Is The Ultimate Right to Make Your Own Health Decisions Hypocrite

In Florida, you can choose death, but not all gender-affirming care or parenthood. And oddly, this has become DeSantis’ biggest accomplishment and foundation for his presidential campaign.

Just not in those words, naturally.

A spokesman for Governor DeSantis said the relatively high deaths in Florida among those who weren’t fully vaccinated against Covid was a matter of the Republican Governor protecting their “right to make their own health decisions.”

Oh, do tell.

This is a bit of a dive, but it’s worth it. The New York Times did a piece on “The Steep Cost of Ron DeSantis’ Vaccine Turnabout,” digging into the stats in Florida where at first, the Republican Governor touted the vaccine and got those over the age of 65 to get protected, while falling to the middle of the pack by the end of July 2021, “When it came to younger residents, Florida lagged behind the national average in every age group.”

The vaccine rollout in Florida was plagued with stories of wealthier white people getting the vaccines first. Stat News reported, “Ron DeSantis handed responsibility for vaccine appointments in the county to Publix supermarkets in January, though the nearest store is more than 25 miles from Pahokee and Belle Glade. He denied the decision was tied to the chain’s recent $100,000 donation to the DeSantis campaign.”

DeSantis’ state also made certain (poorer, more minorities) areas unable to do an appointment system for the vaccine, instead forcing it to be “first come, first serve,” with wealthier white people sometimes making up the majority of recipients in areas that were majority-minority and working-class populations.

So the vaccine rollout in effect ended up favoring the Republican base, basically.

The issue here stems from DeSantis using his Covid-19 pandemic response as bragging rights while taking potshots at what he knows his base sees as liberal bastions of New York and California.

Because, as the Times piece pointed out, most people who died in Florida from Covid died after the vaccines were available. “But in Florida, unlike the nation as a whole — and states like New York and California that DeSantis likes to single out — most people who died from COVID died after vaccines became available to all adults, not before. As the governor’s political positions began to shift, so did his state’s death rate, for the worse.”

When Delta hit, “Floridians died at a higher rate, adjusted for age than residents of almost any other state during the Delta wave, according to the Times analysis. With less than 7% of the nation’s population, Florida accounted for 14% of deaths between the start of July and the end of October.”

And the Times analysis showed that of those who died, a vast majority of those who died were unvaccinated or hadn’t completed the two doses yet.

“Of the 23,000 Floridians who died, 9,000 were younger than 65. Despite the governor’s insistence at the time that “our entire vulnerable population has basically been vaccinated,” a vast majority of the 23,000 were either unvaccinated or had not yet completed the two-dose regimen.”

A spokesperson for Governor Ron DeSantis, Jeremy Redfern, justified Florida’s comparative spike in post-vaccine Covid deaths by claiming in a statement sent to the New York Times, “the governor had protected Floridians’ ‘right to make their own health decisions.’”

That certainly is new for DeSantis. In fact, DeSantis has on his own website an entire page devoted to how he is forcing Floridians to give birth if they get pregnant because he wants to “protect the lives of Florida’s most vulnerable by prohibiting all abortions after 15 weeks of gestation.”

The bill he signed to make that into law is entitled: “HB 5, the Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality Act.”

But wait. Want to guess how many children have died of Covid? If you listen to the “experts” Ron DeSantis chose to bring in to guide his response, the answer is “virtually zero” risk of death.

Yet, in reality, Covid has killed 1,847 children in the United States as of June 28th, with over 200,000 hospitalized. Covid has taken the lives of 1,136,052 people in the U.S. so far.

Not only does getting Covid pose a threat of increased risk of severe illness for a pregnant person, but it is also a threat to the pregnancy itself, including increased risks of stillbirth and pregnancy loss, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Where is the concern and legally mandated protection for these “most vulnerable”? Where is the “Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality Act” for Covid?

It’s definitely a glaring hypocrisy, although it becomes easier to understand when viewed through the lens of DeSantis perhaps chasing the base instead of leading. First he led, but then he decided to chase popularity by following the base on the vaccines.

DeSantis’ wavering toward the anti-vax conspiracies touted by the Right wasn’t overt, he just suggested the vaccines might not work because people could still catch Covid, but of course, the vaccines were about reducing the severity and death rates, not about never getting sick.

But according to the Times, DeSantis and his aides have said that this is due to his opposition to mandates, rather than to vaccines. Either way, the results speak for themselves, and either way, he is mandating what women can do with their bodies, so he’s okay with health mandates. Just not for a deadly virus.

Choice, aka the right to make our own health decisions, has taken on new meaning in the Covid/post-Roe age.

You may not get an abortion in Florida, but you may ‘choose’ to refuse — after being encouraged to refuse based on misinformation fed to you by your Governor’s hand-picked “experts” — the Covid vaccine, and thereby endanger your wanted pregnancy — possibly terminating it.

Pro-choice in Republicanese is now also pro-death, which gets confusing because their entire opposition to abortion is supposedly being against death for the unborn. But it’s okay, apparently, if the unborn die of preventable complications from Covid or if they are migrants.

In all of the above scenarios, the woman isn’t choosing to end her pregnancy. So Republicans see the preventable ending of a viable and wanted pregnancy as okay, so long as it is not the woman’s choice. And health mandates are cool when forcing women to comply with conservative beliefs.

But don’t you dare tread on the conservative base with a mandate to get a shot for the protection of the “unborn.”

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