Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis took a swipe over the weekend at former President Donald Trump, playing off his accelerated push for a COVID-19 vaccine.
Addressing the Florida Family Policy Council on Saturday, DeSantis asserted that vaccine mandates were an egregious violation of individual rights.
“The way they weaponized these COVID vaxes was a massive incursion into our freedoms,” the governor said. “They wanted to deny people the right to put food on their table if they didn’t bend the knee and get a COVID shot that they may not have wanted and that many of them did not need.”
DeSantis then slipped in a jab at his prospective rival for GOP supremacy.
“We can never allow ‘Warp Speed’ to trump informed consent in this country ever again,” DeSantis said, referring to the 45th president’s “Operation Warp Speed” vaccine development push.
Addressing the Florida Family Policy Council on Saturday, Gov. Ron DeSantis asserted that vaccine mandates were an egregious violation of individual rights.Getty Images
Trump, 76, declined to back vaccine mandates, but heartily endorsed the jabs and has since lauded the drive as one of his administration’s hallmark accomplishments.
While Trump has continually attacked his former ally as an agent of the GOP establishment, the 44-year-old Floridian has now begun to question the former president’s conservative bona fides.
DeSantis, who is expected to formalize his White House bid later this week, ripped Trump’s position on abortion bans last week.
Former President Donald Trump often cites “Warp Speed” as one of the great successes of his administration.Getty Images
Trump had previously told the Messenger that the Sunshine State’s six-week abortion ban was “too harsh,” and declined to say if he would have enacted such a measure.
DeSantis seized on the statement, arguing that his nemesis was disconnected from conservatives on the issue.
By opting for less stringent COVID-19 restrictions and rejecting vaccine mandates, DeSantis touted Florida as an “oasis of freedom” and counterpoint to “lockdown” Democratic-run states.
DeSantis praised the vaccines after their release, but later questioned their efficacy.AFP via Getty Images
DeSantis touted the vaccines after they first became available, holding several press conferences with shot recipients and encouraging Floridians to roll up their sleeves.
But along with Florida’s Surgeon General Joseph Ladopo, DeSantis later questioned their efficacy and held a roundtable discussion on vaccine injuries last December.
DeSantis also vocally opposed vaccine employment mandates that were instituted in places like New York and California.