Florida Gov. Rona DeSantis—I mean, Ron DeSantis—has come out of hiding, but he’s not looking too great. The governor was caught sounding not only wheezy but clearly holding back sneezes while speaking to the press Wednesday. He obviously is sick, it’s evident in his voice, and if you listen closely it kind of even sounds like he’s suppressing some tears. Uh oh, I wonder what it could be?
It would be no surprise if he were hiding that he’s sick. His vaccination status is still unknown. While he initially declined to confirm with the AP when and if he was getting vaccinated in April 2021, he later said he got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. No indication has been made on whether or not he got the booster as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to CNN, the closest he got to admitting his status was in a December interview with Fox News in which he said: “So, I've done, whatever I did. The normal shot. And that at the end of the day is peoples' individual decisions about what they want to do."
But then on Monday things got confusing again when Politico's Gary Fineout asked a DeSantis spokeswoman whether DeSantis has taken the booster. "I am not privy to the governor's private medical decisions and am unable to share information about his booster status," Christina Pushaw said, adding: "Governor DeSantis has consistently said that vaccination (and by extension, boosters) should be a personal choice, and anyone who has questions or concerns should consult with a health care provider."
Of course, that’s not all. In a press conference held Monday, DeSantis masked the truth again, claiming that the new variant isn’t impacted by the vaccine and implying to those who want to hear it that vaccines don’t do shit.
"With omicron, you know, the vaccinations are not preventing infection," DeSantis said Monday. He failed to mention that if you are vaccinated and boosted, the severity of infection, including the risk of hospitalization and death, is lessened.
The spread of COVID-19 has gotten worse across the country with an increase in case rates of 566% in Florida over the past two weeks, according to The New York Times database. The state is averaging more than 56,000 cases a day right now, yet DeSantis is still downplaying the virus and its severity just as he has for the last two years. I mean, he was allegedly on vacation relaxing as his hospitals in Florida became overwhelmed and residents across the state wondered where he was. Talk about responsible.
His lack of public statements in the last month has been noted. As the Palm Beach Post summarized:
"As case counts spiked over the holidays, DeSantis offered no public statements or guidance on combating the disease. He did not explain on Monday his public absence over the holidays. He attended the Orange Bowl college football playoff game at Hard Rock Stadium on New Year's Eve, followed by a worship service at Miami Baptist Church, according to his published schedule."
Then on Tuesday, he once again harmed his own state by claiming that those without symptoms of the virus need not get tested at all.
“A lot of those tests aren’t a good use of testing," DeSantis said in a news conference Tuesday. "Testing really needs to be focused on the people who have clinical symptoms.”
I get it: He thinks this will lessen the number of people crowding testing sites, but not being tested is very careless.
As infectious disease expert Dr. Aileen Marty told NBC News, it’s dangerous to discourage testing because “we do need to identify anyone who is spreading the virus, so they stop spreading it.”
Whether or not you are symptomatic, if you have been exposed, you need to get tested.
“No. 1, they can become symptomatic a few days later and they can spread it to others and continue this horrific transmission, which, remember, just because you didn’t get sick, doesn’t mean you didn’t cause someone else to end up in the hospital," Marty said.
Watch DeSantis struggling to speak below:
Maybe DeSantis is telling people not to get tested because he’s afraid he will be asked to get tested. What do you think?