DeSantis continues to avoid press, releases video update on COVID-19 vaccine plans


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – As Florida nears 1 million COVID-19 cases, reporters are still waiting on the governor to answer tough questions regarding the pandemic.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday continued to avoid questions from the press by releasing another pre-recorded video highlighting a new antibody treatment and vaccines for COVID-19.

In the three-minute video, DeSantis said Regeneron, a new antibody treatment for coronavirus patients, received emergency use authorization and is being shipped to hospitals throughout the state. He also talked about the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, two vaccines with more than 90% effectiveness that are both awaiting potential authorization or approval from the FDA.

“I spoke with the top pharmacist at both CVS and Walgreens involved in operation Warp Speed yesterday. They assured me that as soon as they have the vaccine in hand, they are ready to deploy to Florida’s over-4,000 long-term care facilities to begin vaccinating the residents,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis said elderly residents in long-term facilities and frontline health care workers will be the first groups to get vaccinated.

“As more vaccine becomes available, we of course are going to want to get that into the broader senior community first, and then into the broader community at large. But as we anxiously await the vaccine, I think it’s important to double down on protecting our most vulnerable, particularly our vulnerable seniors in long-term care facilities,” the governor said.

He added that the state has set aside 500,000 more rapid tests that will be distributed over the next few weeks to long-term care facilities throughout the state.

“We have all longed for the day when our long-term care residents can return to normal and that day is finally within our grasp,” he said, before signing off the video with “Happy Thanksgiving.”

The governor has largely disappeared from television since President-elect Joe Biden’s victory earlier this month, holding just one press conference since Nov. 3, in which he criticized multiple media outlets, including Fox, for their election coverage.

The video released Wednesday doesn’t really begin to answer reporters’ questions about the pandemic. Nor does it tell them anything about the governor’s recent suggestion that states with Republican legislatures, such as Pennsylvania and Michigan, should consider invalidating the popular vote and choose its own presidential electors.

“Under Article II of the Constitution, presidential electors are done by legislatures and the schemes they create in the framework,” DeSantis told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham earlier this month. “If there’s departure from that, and they’re not following the law, if they’re ignoring law, then they can provide remedies as well, so I would exhaust every option to make sure we have a fair count.”

Since the pandemic began, at least 953,300 people in Florida have tested positive for the virus, and 18,310 have died.


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