Former President Donald J. Trump (R) criticized politicians who have not announced their vaccine status, referring to them as “gutless.” Many pundits theorized that Trump was hinting at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“Well, I’ve taken it,” said Trump. “I’ve had the booster. Many politicians–I watched a couple of politicians be interviewed and one of the questions was, ‘Did you get the booster?’ – because they had the vaccine – and they’re answering like–in other words, the answer is ‘yes’ but they don’t want to say it. Because they’re gutless. You gotta say it – whether you had it or not. Say it. But the fact is that I think the vaccines saved tens of millions throughout the world. I’ve had absolutely no side-effects.”
When asked about if he had received the booster shot a couple weeks ago, DeSantis said he received the one-shot Johnson and Johnson jab.
“I’ve done whatever I did, the normal shot, and that at the end of the day is people’s individual decisions about what they want to do,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis has previously advocated for Floridians to receive the booster, but defaults to the position of receiving the shot as a private medical decision.
“While there is talk at the federal level regarding how to distribute vaccine doses and whether booster shots should be ‘held back,’ Florida is committed to the two-dose regimen for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines,” DeSantis said. “One dose seems to provide some protection, but the 95 percent efficacy has only been shown to be attained by taking the booster shot. This means that while the manner of distribution may change, the necessity of the booster shot will not. Florida wants all seniors to receive booster shots at the appropriate time.”
In the same interview at One America News, Trump said politicians should disclose to the public their booster shot status “whether you had it or not.”
Last week, DeSantis’ spokeswoman Christina Pushaw said she was not aware of the governor’s shot status.
“Again, I’m not privy to the Governor’s personal medical decisions — he has the same right to medical privacy as anyone else,” Pushaw said on Twitter. “Not sure why this is newsworthy. @GovRonDeSantis has said getting a booster should be a personal choice, consult with your doctor if you have questions.”
Again, I’m not privy to the Governor’s personal medical decisions — he has the same right to medical privacy as anyone else. Not sure why this is newsworthy. @GovRonDeSantis has said getting a booster should be a personal choice, consult with your doctor if you have questions. https://t.co/iYt1AdBqkv
— Christina Pushaw 🐊 (@ChristinaPushaw) January 4, 2022
Last month on a radio show in South Florida, Trump said he feels that if he would announce his candidacy for president in 2024, DeSantis would withhold from running.
“I do think if I run, he won’t,” Trump said in an interview with a South Florida radio program. “I know they try and create a friction. I don’t think it exists at all. It might, you know, you never know. If he wanted to run, that’s OK with me. I think we’d win by a lot. But he’s good. And he’s done a good job as Governor.”
Both Trump and DeSantis are the general favorites to achieve the Republican nomination in 2024, according to polling.
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