With the release of multiple COVID-19 vaccines, the landscape has shifted from arguing about whether there’d be one at all before the end of the year, to just how it should be distributed. Given the unique risk that older Americans have over almost every other age group, you’d think every dose would be going to the most vulnerable right now. But nah, politicians are involved, so that means lots of self-serving and virtue signaling.
Instead of seeing videos of 85 year old grandmothers getting their vaccine, we’ve been treated to a litany of young to middle-aged politicians and healthcare workers being shot up for the cameras instead. It doesn’t matter that a 25 year old nurse or 42 year old Congressional member have a minute, fraction of the risk that senior citizens with pre-existing conditions have. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her millennial staffers got their vaccine, and that’s what really matters here.
Of course, there are some politicians still using common sense. One of those was Tulsi Gabbard, who ripped Congress for preferring themselves over those that scientifically need the vaccine (see Tulsi Gabbard Does What Most Other Cowardly Politicians Won’t Do). Another voice of reason is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
What follows is a video of some reporter trying to gotcha him for not having taken the vaccine yet. His answer, as most of his answers are, was absolutely perfect.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is asked if he has taken the vaccine:
“I’m willing to take it but I’m not the priority… Granted I’m an elected official but whoop dee doo. At the end of the day, let’s focus on where the risk is.”pic.twitter.com/2zucGYIQUu
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) December 30, 2020
You can hear the insinuation in the voice of the reporter, prodding the governor on why he hasn’t taken the vaccine yet and whether he will. DeSantis, always quick on his feet, immediately turns and rebuts the entire idea that he should be getting the vaccine at all at this point. As he points out, he’s under 45. His risks are far, far lower than older Americans. And while most politicians smiled for a camera and got the vaccine first, DeSantis is prioritizing those who need it the most in his state. Just like protecting nursing homes early on in the pandemic, Florida seems to be one of the few states willing to apply sound reasoning to their actions instead of just acting on emotion.
This is why DeSantis is a front-runner for 2024. He’s combative, but he does it in a way that makes his opposition seem small and petty. He’s able to formulate responses on the fly without stumbling. Most of all, he’s willing to take actions others won’t because they are too scared of being held responsible for something. DeSantis doesn’t care. He’s doing what’s best for his state. The chips will fall where they may. That’s something you don’t see from many politicians these days.
Though Donald Trump may run again (he’ll be almost 80, so I’d hope not), DeSantis seems to take most of the best parts of the last four years while applying them in a much smarter, more disciplined, yet just as devastatingly effective manner. Could you imagine this guy taking on the national press from the White House? It’d be absolutely amazing. I for one hope we get to see it.
(Please follow me on Twitter! @bonchieredstate)