POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Gov. Ron DeSantis criticized the federal government’s actions Friday with regards to the recent pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine and the recommendations for double-masking while out in public.
During a press conference Friday at Bonnet Springs Park in Lakeland, DeSantis criticized the actions taken by federal officials after several reports were issued of potentially dangerous blood clots stemming from the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“How they handled the J&J, I think was a huge mistake,” he said.
In a joint statement Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said they were investigating unusual clots in six women that occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination and recommended a “pause” in administering the one-dose vaccine.
“I don’t know the information they have, but if you’re going to do that, you could’ve done that in a way that was not going to cause a lot of people to lose confidence,” he said.
According to DeSantis, the recommended pause has caused quite the concern for residents nationwide.
“If you look at how people view J&J now, the positive view plunged as a result,” he said.
Because of the pause, DeSantis said this could cause people who are on the fence or don’t really want to get a vaccine to remain steadfast in being against getting vaccinated.
A challenge many communities, both in Florida and nationally, could face is an excess in vaccines and vacant appointments, the governor stated.
“Certainly by May there’s going to be a surplus of vaccines,” he said.
Another national recommendation he took issue with is the CDC encouraging people to wear two masks after finding doubling up helps in slowing coronavirus spread.
“I advocate for (getting vaccinated) but I also can’t square if the vaccines effective, why would you need to be wearing two masks like some of these folks are doing. It doesn’t make sense,” DeSantis said. “The messaging should be: get a vaccine because it’s good for you to do it. It works, you’re not going to have to be doing anything like abnormal, you can live your life.”
The governor said a step in returning back to a “normal” life is by trusting in the vaccine.
“My view is if you get a vaccine, the vaccines are effective. You’re immune and so act immune,” he said.
During the press conference, DeSantis assured residents that while he’s an advocate for getting vaccinated, no matter which one you choose to get, there will not be a vaccine mandate put in place in Florida.