Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis did not hold back in his criticism of President Joe Biden's administration, U.S. public health policy under COVID-19, and government "misinformation," and the lack of scientific support for vaccine pushes.
The vaccine boosters are going to be a hard no for a President DeSantis, he told ABC News.
"Certainly, we're not going to fund them," DeSantis, running for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024, said. "I think that the Biden administration is spending billions and billions of dollars on these. So they've done studies. They have not demonstrated the benefit of the boosters.
"These things have not been studied long enough, and there's not a need."
Urging healthy, young, Americans with strong immune systems to get an experimental vaccine is only putting them at undue risk, DeSantis concluded.
"It seems like a lot of the side effects are for the people that are less likely to have significant impacts from COVID," he said. "So, to push it on somebody, where there's not really a benefit — where there could be even a small risk — that's wrong.
"It should have never been mandated on anybody. President Biden wanted people to lose their jobs if they didn't get the shot and that's totally wrong. It will never happen when I'm president."
The ABC News interview attempted to push back on DeSantis for being counter to Centers for Disease Control guidance, but DeSantis maintained he is on the right side of history.
"How good has CDC done, with all due respect, over the last few years?" DeSantis shot back.
"How many people trust CDC at this point?
"And I was somebody five years ago, if you would have said CDC said this, that would have carried a lot of weight for me."
Many DeSantis presidential campaign endorsers and supporters are backing him because of his success pushing back against Democrats, the Biden administration, and "misinformation" over the interpretation of COVID and vaccine science.
"I was in the trenches during COVID," DeSantis continued. "They were citing flimsy studies saying that masks will stop COVID. They were citing flimsy studies about the mRNA shots originally.
"Remember, they said, the CDC director said, 'if you take these shots, you will not get COVID.'
"That is not true! We know it's not true. People got COVID."
COVID mandates and policy, despite the lack of scientific evidence supporting them, unwound the public "trust," according to DeSantis.
"They would make representations which were not true — so the trust that has been lost, I think, has been incalculable," DeSantis lamented.
"When I come in, we're going to have a reckoning about all these COVID policies. We're going to hold people accountable who got it wrong: people that clung to the lockdowns, people that clung to the school closures."
DeSantis hailed Florida as being a bold U.S. leader on getting students back in schools in the summer of 2020, still in the heart of the pandemic.
"How is it we have kids locked out of school in this country for over a year in certain jurisdictions? That was not scientifically valid," DeSantis said, pointing at ABC News for having gone to Florida to criticize his state's education policy of returning to in-person learning in classrooms.
"We did great, parents were happy," he continued. "I really thought after three or four weeks of that, that every kid would have to go back in school. Because we showed that that's what should happen. And yet kids got locked out of school.
"There's been a calculable damage done. There's been so much misinformation pushed on society."
In the end, science should lead, but it has to lead with evidence and study and not forced vaccination policy led by "misinformation," according to DeSantis.
"You've got to go back to what does the evidence tell you?" he said. "Is there evidence that this benefits a 6-month-old baby to give them one of these new shots? We don't see that evidence there."
Eric Mack ✉
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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