Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday said the White House lied about his state's COVID-19 vaccine policy changes and that the media has largely chosen to ignore it.
The Republican was in Callahan, just north of Jacksonville, when he was asked about a debate on vaccines that occurred Friday and comments from the Biden administration last week that he had changed course and was ordering vaccines for young children.
"The White House is lying about it, surprise. Not surprised the White House would lie, definitely not surprised that legacy media would amplify the lie, because that’s what they do," DeSantis said. "The state of Florida, they came out with an article saying the state of Florida has not ordered, it’s Department of Health has not ordered mRNA jabs for the babies. Yes, we didn’t. We recommend against it."
"We are not going to have any programs where we’re trying to jab 6-month-old babies with mRNA," he added. "That’s just the reality. I think what they thought would happen was that we’d be embarrassed about it."
On Friday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that Florida had reversed course and is allowing health care providers to order the mRNA vaccines for children under six months to 5-years of age.
"Even though Governor DeSantis reversed course and is now ordering vaccines, we will pull every lever to get pediatricians across Florida vaccines as quickly as possible," she told McClatchy. "This is an encouraging first step, and we urge the state to order vaccines for its state and local health departments, so that all Florida parents have the opportunity to get their children vaccinated."
Earlier in the week, Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo said he disagreed with the Food and Drug Administration's decision to administer COVID vaccines for kids under 5.
On Monday, DeSantis said the state would not be ordering any mRNA vaccines for children.
"That was always that, we still have not ordered it, we are not going to order it," he said. "Now what they’re saying is because practitioners and hospitals can order it, somehow we’ve reversed. I said from the beginning that we’d be able to do that. We don’t have the authority to prevent it, and quite frankly if someone wants to make a different decision, I would just caution people to look at the actual data in the clinical trial.