DeSantis administration tells Floridians under 65 not to get Covid shots

Lagging far behind Trump in the Republican primary polls, Ron DeSantis is doubling down on extremist rhetoric to get attention—and putting his office as Florida governor to use in making it matter. His administration is now telling Floridians not to get covid vaccines unless they are seniors.

"What I have directed our department to do is to provide guidance that really recommends and advises against the use of these mRNA Covid-19 vaccines for anyone under 65," the state surgeon general, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, said at an online panel hosted by DeSantis on Wednesday.

The statement ignores the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendations: The agency said Tuesday that everyone ages 6 months and up who has not gotten a Covid shot within the last two months should get a new booster, which targets a subvariant of omicron called XBB.1.5. … DeSantis originally supported Covid shots, noting in July 2021 that "these vaccines are saving lives." Since then, however, he has built his administration's health care platform around the notion that Covid vaccines are unsafe and unproven — a stance not supported by scientific consensus.

It's the DeSantis pudding fingers thing: "unempathetic" doesn't approach how off he is. Trump can at least work a crowd, which shows evidence that he can functionally identify with people's fears and needs. DeSantis, though, has the air of a man who would "unplug your life support to charge his phone," as Peggy Noonan put it—and I think even the people this message is aimed at, even those who like it when it's delivered with Trump's jocular malice, will feel their skin tighten a bit seeing DeSantis and his creepy cronies intoning it in their joyless nasal whines. The death rates are immaterial.

Findings  In this cohort study evaluating 538 159 deaths in individuals aged 25 years and older in Florida and Ohio between March 2020 and December 2021, excess mortality was significantly higher for Republican voters than Democratic voters after COVID-19 vaccines were available to all adults, but not before. … The differences in excess mortality by political party affiliation after COVID-19 vaccines were available to all adults suggest that differences in vaccination attitudes and reported uptake between Republican and Democratic voters may have been a factor in the severity and trajectory of the pandemic in the US.