The Washington Post Invents a Vaccine Claim Ron DeSantis Didn't Make

AP Photo/Marta Lavandier

The media does not like Ron DeSantis. That’s been clear for a long time. But while every politician has controversial things they have said that should be questioned, including DeSantis, to take a statement and just invent a claim or implication where there isn’t one is just more proof that we don’t have an unbiased media in this country.

Via the Washington Post:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), a foe of vaccine mandates, appeared to suggest Thursday that getting a shot to protect against the coronavirus could cause infertility.

“Think about how ridiculous it is what they’re doing by trying to force the nurses” to get immunized, he said in a speech announcing funding for nursing certification programs. “A lot of these nurses have had covid. A lot of them are younger. Some of them are trying to have families.”

Nowhere in this quote does DeSantis suggest that getting the COVID-19 vaccine can affect fertility.

The speech, which was given at an event where DeSantis announced $2.3 million for nursing and vocational programs, focused on the critical medical worker shortage seen not just in Florida but around the country. The Post, as well as MSNBC and other outlets, are cutting off a key sentence from the DeSantis quote. A local outlet in Florida gives you the context you need.

“Think about how ridiculous it is what they’re doing by trying to force the nurses with these vaxes you know a lot of these nurses have had COVID, a lot of them are younger, some of them, they’re trying to have families, there’s a whole bunch of things that they have going on and so they don’t want to be forced to do it,” DeSantis said. “You see the shortages in there anyways, and now that is adding to it.”

DeSantis, as stunned as we are.
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

In one sentence, it’s clear that DeSantis is talking about how vaccine mandates will only make a shortage of nurses worse. Young nurses who are wanting to get married and start families are getting let go because they aren’t getting vaccinated. It’s a controversial policy because on one hand, potentially spreading the virus from staff to patients is a medical and legal nightmare, but on the other hand, you’re looking at a shortage of nurses because of the virus and other circumstances already and letting more go only hurts the quality of care you can give.

DeSantis is looking at the mathematical equation here and deciding that it’s silly to look at a health care worker shortage and think “We need more barriers to work,” which is not an unreasonable conclusion to draw.

But the media looks at the DeSantis quote, cuts off a sentence, and declares he is spreading some conspiracy theory because he’s a successful Republican governor and he’s speculated to be a frontrunner in 2024. He has dismissed the media on multiple occasions as the hacks they are, and they don’t like being undermined.

If you wanted to “analyze” the quote, you could more effectively do so from the perspective that risking nurses spreading the virus is more damaging than a shortage of workers. But to straight-up take him out of context and invent a claim he didn’t make and run a story on that thinking “Got ‘im!” is just irresponsible journalism.

Not that we should be expecting responsible journalism right now. It’s pretty clear the media can’t or won’t be objective where a Republican is concerned. At this point, I suppose DeSantis is lucky they didn’t try to find some hospital board members that had donated to him and tried to make this a pay-for-play scandal (again). Pretty depressing that there’s a greater-than-zero chance of that happening, but that’s showbiz, folks.