(The Hill) – GOP presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday he will revoke funding for COVID-19 vaccines if elected to the White House next year.
“Certainly, we’re not going to fund them,” he said in an interview with ABC. “I think that the Biden is spending billions and billions of dollars on these. So they’ve done studies. They have not demonstrated the benefit of the boosters.”
DeSantis, who remains a strong opponent of mandating COVID-19 vaccines and other pandemic measures, claimed that there isn’t enough research to show whether the benefits of the new boosters outweigh the potential risks.
President Biden said last month that he plans to ask for more funding from Congress for the development of a new coronavirus vaccine — a move that could face hurdles as a similar request to combat the virus was blocked by Congress last year.
“I signed off this morning on a proposal we have to present to the Congress a request for additional funding for a new vaccine that is necessary, that works,” Biden said at the time.
DeSantis also questioned whether the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) should be trusted, vowing to hold the agency “accountable” if elected in 2024. He claimed the CDC misrepresented how effective masking and vaccines were in preventing COVID-19 infections during the height of the pandemic, saying that the agency cited “flimsy” studies.
“They would make representations which were not true. So the trust that’s been lost, I think has been incalculable and one of the things that I said is when I come in we’re going to have a reckoning about all these COVID policies,” he said. “We’re going to hold people accountable, who got it wrong.”
A new COVID-19 booster was rolled out last week after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the new shots, which are meant to protect new strains of the coronavirus and are recommended for everyone older than 6 months.
However, the campaign to get people vaccinated is off to a rocky start as the federal government scrambles to make the shots accessible to uninsured Americans.