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Amidst backlash and erroneous statements by the White House over Florida’s vaccine stance, Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., reaffirmed that the state would not try to “jab 6-month-old babies” with the Covid-19 vaccine.
During a press conference in Callahan on Monday, DeSantis laid to rest rumors that the state “reversed course and is now ordering vaccines,” clarifying that the state recommends against vaccinating babies, according to The Epoch Times.
“We are not going to have any program where we’re trying to jab six-month-old babies with mRNA. That’s just the reality,” DeSantis said.
The controversy arose after Florida became the only state not to request vaccines for children under five, the New York Post reported.
However, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Friday claimed that Florida “reversed course and is now ordering vaccines, leading the governor’s office to accuse Jean-Pierre of “spreading disinformation,” The Epoch Times further reported.
“The White House @PressSec & @McClatchyDC are both spreading disinformation,” DeSantis’s press secretary, Christina Pushaw, said on Twitter. “NOTHING has ‘reversed’ or changed. The State of Florida is not placing any orders of covid shots for 0-5 year old babies & kids.”
“What they have couched as a reversal is actually the Governor’s steadfast position that the State of Florida does not recommend nor distribute shots for babies,” Pushaw continued. “Any healthcare provider that wants the vaccines can obtain them and any parent who wants it for their child can get it.”
“Retract your lies,” she added.
DeSantis also slammed the White House and the media during Monday’s conference. He said, “Not surprised the White House would lie, definitely not surprised that legacy media would amplify the lie, because that’s what they do.”
The outlet previously reported DeSantis clarified that doctors and hospitals would be able to receive vaccines; however, “there are not going to be any state programs to get COVID jabs to infants and toddlers and newborns.”
DeSantis’s reasoning comes after analyzing different studies and finding no added benefit for promoting vaccines for children.
“Joe Ladapo, our Department of Health has looked at it, there is no proven benefit to put a baby with an, on mRNA. That’s why our recommendation is against it, that’s different from prohibiting the use of it,” DeSantis said. “Quite frankly, we’re confident people can make their own judgment on. I would say when you look at the trial, one of the things they did, they did not have babies or very young kids who had recovered from COVID in the trial. So we don’t know what this will do for people who had recovered.”
Ladapo clarified on Twitter: “We recommended against COVID-19 vax for healthy children in March b/c there was no strong evidence of benefit. This remains the same for healthy kids <5. Providers have always been able to order vaccines. This never changed. Nice try, @WhiteHouse.”
Earlier this month, DeSantis emphasized his commitment to individual freedom after demanding that the Special Olympic International (SOI) strip its Covid-19 vaccine for those participating in the state’s 2022 Special Olympics USA Games.
The SOI followed, announcing, “Delegates who were registered for the Games but were unable to participate due to the prior vaccine requirement now have the option to attend.”