DeSantis vs. Dr. Fauci

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The latest skirmish in the blue media vs. red state wars started when Florida governor Ron DeSantis had the temerity to suggest that vaccination against COVID-19 should be a personal choice. As I wrote over on the home page, the blue media promptly rolled Dr. Anthony Fauci out to contradict the governor.

The governor was in Pensacola promoting a state program that provides monoclonal antibodies (such as Regeneron) to sick Floridians for free, a program that deserves much more attention than it has gotten. (Video of the event is here; I wrote about the promise of Regeneron and similar therapeutics almost a year ago).

The governor was answering a question about businesses requiring vaccine passports. His answer is worth reading in full. Here is a roughly corrected transcript of what he said (apologies for any mistakes):

Vaccine passports. One, I’m vaccinated. I’m offended that someone would make me show something just to go to a restaurant or just to live life. And there’s a lot of people who have already recovered from Covid who do have immunity. You actually are saying, me with a Johnson & Johnson shot can go in, but someone who’s recovered from Covid and probably a stronger immunity, they can’t go in? I’m sorry. That is anti-science.

I also don’t want two classes of citizens. We have some people in our communities who just made the decision, [that] this is something that they’re not going to do. So what, you’re going to write them out of society? They’re not going to be able to go show their face? And some of these places that have vaccine passports – because the little kiddies are ineligible for vaccine — some of them are saying if you’re under 12, don’t even come in.

And it’s also the case that as much as I am happy to see vaccinated people get good protection against hospitalization, it definitely has been good, the fact is it is spreading regardless of vaccination. That’s just the reality. The theory behind the vaccine passport is: Okay, if you force everyone to have it in order to kind of live in society, then you’ll be able to basically just nuke Covid. We know that that’s not the case.  You know [you have] very, very high vaccination rates, you still have big waves. So, it just doesn’t make any sense.

And my view is, we got to protect people’s ability to live their lives. I don’t want a biomedical security state in which are we constantly having to do this just to be able to live everyday life. At the end of the day, the vaccines have helped people ward off severe illness. And we obviously worked very hard to distribute it. At the end of the day, though, it is what somebody, it’s about your health and whether you want that protection or not. It really doesn’t impact me or anyone else because we’ve seen the data on this. And so the theory behind it, I think has gone totally up in smoke.

And I also just think that there’s been huge mistakes made along the way with some of these authorities lecturing people about this. I can tell you there’s a lot of folks that when they hear that uh if they’re on the fence that pushes them in the other direction, that is not the way that you do it. And what I try to do is just give the data, give it honestly, I’m not going to sugarcoat it and I’m not going to tell somebody something that that is not true based on the data, just because I want them to behave in a certain way.

A lot of these folks, they tell these noble lies because they want you to behave in a certain way. And so they don’t give the whole truth.

Then, referring to the state’s ongoing efforts to publicize the availability of monoclonal antibodies as an early treatment for potentially severe COVID-19 disease, the governor says:

You look at the fact that we’re even having to do this with this early treatment. That should not — we’re happy to do because we want to help — but this should have been something that was screamed from the rooftops from HHS and CDC since last December. Can you imagine if 100 percent of Americans knew that this was something that was available? You know how many people we would have kept out of the hospital? You know how many people that would not have died over the last nine months? That’s just a fact.

Read the full article at National Review.