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More governors publicly vaccinated, but Florida’s kept mum

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has acquired a single-dose coronavirus vaccine, his office confirmed Wednesday. He did so out of the general public eye at the same time as governors elsewhere throughout the political spectrum have been vaccinated publicly to reassure Americans that the pictures are protected.

A spokesperson for the Republican governor initially declined to offer particulars, together with when precisely the Republican governor acquired the dose. But it was later disclosed that the governor acquired the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine final week.

The spokesperson, Meredith Beatrice, acknowledged the governor’s vaccination throughout an interview. The disclosure got here after a DeSantis information convention on the Capitol assailing the TV information program “60 Minutes” for a narrative airing Sunday that steered a “pay-to-play” vaccine distribution take care of a grocery store chain that donated to the governor’s political committee.

DeSantis had not too long ago stated he can be vaccinated quickly — but no announcement was made by his office when he acquired it and no journalists have been available. Even a few of his prime lieutenants stated they have been unaware the governor had been vaccinated as they continued to induce Floridians to get inoculated towards a virus that has killed practically 34,000 individuals statewide. More than 2 million individuals in Florida have been contaminated.

Many governors of each events have drawn public consideration to their vaccinations, hoping that can assist persuade extra individuals to get the shot — permitting their states and the nation to extra rapidly obtain herd immunity, even when it isn’t identified what proportion of the inhabitants must be vaccinated to cease the unfold of the virus.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the federal authorities’s prime infectious illness knowledgeable, has urged different public officers — significantly former President Donald Trump — to make use of their affect to get individuals vaccinated.

Trump has in truth urged individuals to get vaccinated, but he hasn’t been amongst different public officers — together with former presidents — to get vaccinated on digicam. He was vaccinated in non-public earlier than leaving the White House for Florida in January.

It was unclear whether or not Florida’s governor had supposed to publicly announce that he had been vaccinated. The information was revealed throughout a casual dialog between The Associated Press and the governor’s spokeswoman, who then declined to answer questions. She later confirmed in an e mail that DeSantis, who’s making ready to run for reelection and is alleged to be contemplating a run for president in 2024, had been vaccinated final week with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

DeSantis had beforehand stated he most well-liked getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as a result of it requires only one dose, in contrast to the two-shot routine required by the 2 different vaccines authorised to be used within the U.S.

DeSantis is now certainly one of greater than 6.6 million Floridians, lower than a 3rd of the state’s inhabitants, who’ve been vaccinated. Florida earlier this week opened vaccinations to anybody over age 16 because the state makes an attempt to succeed in so-called “herd immunity.”

Some governors, together with DeSantis, had not rushed to get vaccinated, saying they might wait their flip. But eligibility necessities at the moment are practically common — besides for youngsters beneath the age of 16.

Last month, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee was vaccinated with out fanfare, and solely revealed it when requested by a reporter.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, one other Trump ally, was vaccinated this week with little ado. When the state opened vaccines to anybody 16 and older on Monday, she posted a photograph on Twitter of herself receiving a shot. By comparability, the state’s sole congressman, Rep. Dusty Johnson, invited journalists on Tuesday to cover him going by the vaccination course of, saying it was a option to encourage individuals to get pictures.

Other Republican governors have been extra public.

Oklahoma’s Kevin Stitt, a Republican who in July turned the primary U.S. governor to announce testing optimistic for COVID-19, flashed a thumbs as much as reporters after getting his shot late final month. “I think that me being here as the governor of a state like Oklahoma, hopefully I can encourage others to follow my lead,” he stated on the time.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who faces a recall due to his dealing with of the outbreak, acquired the Johnson & Johnson jab final week in a livestreamed occasion. His state pushed to get extra individuals protected towards the virus and as Newsom tries to regain his political footing.


Associated Press reporters from throughout the nation contributed to this report.

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