White House’s ‘misleading rhetoric’ may falsely lead Americans to think DeSantis is anti-vaccine, Spox says

Mary Margaret Olohan, DCNF

  • The White House’s “irresponsible” and “misleading rhetoric” about Florida’s COVID-19 response may falsely lead Americans to think that Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is anti-vaccine, the governor’s spokeswoman told the Daily Caller News Foundation Wednesday.
  • “By dismissively ignoring Governor DeSantis’ efforts to protect vulnerable Floridians, the White House is playing politics with the pandemic,” Christina Pushaw told the DCNF.
  • “It is irresponsible for the White House Press Secretary to claim that Governor DeSantis is not promoting vaccination,” she continued. “Some viewers might believe that falsehood and assume wrongly that the Governor has come out against vaccines — Psaki’s misleading rhetoric to this effect, could even discourage some people who are hesitant from getting vaccinated.”

The White House’s “irresponsible” and “misleading rhetoric” about Florida’s COVID-19 response may falsely lead Americans to think that Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is anti-vaccine, the governor’s spokeswoman told the Daily Caller News Foundation Wednesday.

“President Biden and the White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, have both called on Governor DeSantis to promote COVID-19 vaccination and to ‘allow masks in schools,’” spokeswoman Christina Pushaw said in a statement to the DCNF.

“Their framing is misleading at best,” she continued. “The fact is that Governor DeSantis has consistently encouraged Floridians to get vaccinated, and children in Florida are allowed to wear masks, if they and their parents make that choice.”

Pushaw defended the governor’s COVID-19 decisions as “data-driven,” noting that both he and the Florida Department of Health have consistently encouraged Floridians to get vaccinated. DeSantis has had over 50 vaccine-specific events, appeared in 27 counties around the state, and specifically mentioned the efficacy and value of vaccines at least 1,600 times in public appearances, she said.

“By dismissively ignoring Governor DeSantis’ efforts to protect vulnerable Floridians, the White House is playing politics with the pandemic,” Pushaw told the DCNF.

“It is irresponsible for the White House Press Secretary to claim that Governor DeSantis is not promoting vaccination,” she continued, “some viewers might believe that falsehood and assume wrongly that the Governor has come out against vaccines — Psaki’s misleading rhetoric to this effect, could even discourage some people who are hesitant from getting vaccinated.”

Both President Joe Biden and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki had criticized DeSantis Tuesday.

Psaki admonished governors like DeSantis and Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, saying, “But if you aren’t going to help, if you aren’t going to abide by public health guidance, then get out of the way and let people do the right thing to lead in their communities, whether they are teachers, university leaders, or private sector leaders or others who are trying to save lives.”

Biden echoed Psaki’s comments later Tuesday.

“I say to these governors: Please help,” the president said. “But if you aren’t going to help, at least get out of the way. The people are trying to do the right thing. Use your power to save lives.”

“President Biden telling Governor DeSantis to ‘get out of the way’ at the press conference yesterday was a strikingly unprofessional statement coming from the White House,” Pushaw said. “Anyone who agrees with this statement should brush up on the Constitution and learn more about the role of a state governor.”

“Governor DeSantis has demonstrated leadership throughout the pandemic by protecting the vulnerable while defending individual rights from government overreach,” Pushaw added.

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