Ron DeSantis slammed in Florida editorial for hiding COVID vaccine info as state reels

Ron DeSantis slammed in Florida editorial for hiding COVID vaccine info as state reels
Ron DeSantis of Florida speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, Gage Skidmore

In a commentary that was both scorching and sarcastic, the editorial board of the Tampa Bay Times took Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) to task on Sunday morning for hiding information on when Floridians can expect to have access to the COVID-19 vaccines.

DeSantis, who has been resistant to taking the advice from the CDC to help stop the spread of the COVID-19, has recently hinted the age for those getting the vaccine might drop in March, but that wasn't enough the local newspaper's editorial board.

Under a pointed, 'Hey Gov. DeSantis, why so cagey with Covid vaccine details?" headline, the editors pointed out that the governor is already taking heat from his opponents for "not having a detailed plan for rolling out more COVID-19 vaccinations. Your 'no-plan is a good plan' mantra isn't playing well in some circles."

That said, the editors pressed the governor to be more transparent with his longterm plans -- if he has any.

"This isn't spycraft," they wrote. "Giving Floridians a basic understanding of who comes next in the vaccination queue won't somehow give the virus a leg up, like spilling the details of the D-Day invasion. This isn't poker where deception is paramount. Show Floridians a few of your cards. They can handle it."

The editorial pointedly jabbed the Republican governor for "selecting two wealthy and predominantly white Manatee County ZIP codes to distribute an 'extra' 3,000 vaccinations," before applauding him for moving frontline health care workers and seniors to the front of the vaccination line -- but said beyond that, the public is being left in the dark.

"The main bottleneck has been the supply of vaccines, something largely outside of a governor's control," the editors admitted before adding, "All the more reason for you to dole out a few more details. Lately, you have indicated that teachers and law enforcement over the age of 50 could be next, but even then you couched it with 'probably' and 'I think.' On Thursday, you said the state will lower the age of eligibility for shots 'sometime in March.' You didn't say what the new age might be — 60? 55? Again, we don't need a 100-page treatise on where and how the state plans to distribute the vaccine over the next few months. But give us more than just dribs and drabs."

"A little more communication will allay fears and quell anxiety by helping Floridians determine where they fall on the schedule. Most residents are willing to wait their turn. They understand there isn't enough vaccine to go around yet, and they don't blame you for that. But you can help them by being more forthcoming, by treating your plan as less of a secret," they wrote before concluding, "We'd like to know a few more details about the rest of us."

You can read the whole piece here.

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