Despite the omicron variant’s surge, Gov. Ron DeSantis says he will continue to take a healthy-living approach against COVID-19 and push treatments but not impose any restrictions on people that he deems to be “insanity.”
He would not say if he’s received a booster of the vaccine he got last year.
“Fortunately, we have the ability to combat it with a variety of these tools,’’ he said at a news conference on Friday to announce a new antibody treatment for people who contract the disease. “We are not going to indulge in any of the insanity that you see starting to happen again.”
As an example, he went on to complain about universities outside of Florida that force students “to do vax, force them to mask, probably force them to booster, and they’re still shutting down.”
He said Florida residents “should make sure you’re doing things to keep yourself healthy and improve your health,” a comment consistent with a Department of Health media campaign that stresses healthy living.
Meanwhile, DeSantis didn’t clearly answer when asked if he has received a booster shot during an interview with Maria Bartiromo on Fox News on Sunday.
“So I’ve done, whatever I did, the normal shot, and, you know, that at the end of the day is people’s individual decision about what they want to do,” he responded. He then pointed out that Florida has banned vaccine mandates.
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U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, one of DeSantis’ Democratic opponents in the governor’s race next year, posted a video of the exchange on Twitter and wrote, “What @GovRonDeSantis won’t tell you is that the booster shot is effective against the omicron variant. Ron is once again SOFT on COVID and it’s costing lives.”
Crist and other Democrats have accused DeSantis of bowing to anti-vaxxers for political reasons, an allegation the governor’s office has denied.
The governor confirmed in April that he had received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
Asked whether the governor had received a booster, spokeswoman Christina Pushaw said Tuesday she couldn’t comment. She referred a reporter to the governor’s comments on Friday when asked if any changes in policies were coming in response to the omicron outbreak.
Staff writers Steven Lemongello and Gray Rohrer contributed to this report.