Florida Governor Ron DeSantis refused to answer whether or not he has received a COVID-19 booster shot during a press conference on Friday, after former President Donald Trump called politicians who don’t publicly disclose their booster shot status ‘gutless.’
‘I’m not gonna let that be a weapon for people to be able to use. I think it’s a private matter.’
DeSantis had dodged the same question last month, weeks before Trump’s comments this month.
‘I’ve done whatever I did,’ DeSantis told Fox Business Network. ‘The normal shot.’
The Republican governor received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine early last year.
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Pictured: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at a press conference on Friday, where he refused to reveal whether or not he received a COVID booster shot
Donald Trump looks on as Ron DeSantis speaks during the Florida Homecoming rally at the BB&T Center in 2019
Pictured: Florida COVID-19 numbers, showing a massive spike on January 7 earlier this month, with 78,449 new cases recorded that day alone
Meanwhile, the booster shot has become a point of contention for some Republicans, with Trump and DeSantis recently locking horns as the two current front-runners for the GOP presidential candidacy in 2024.
A few weeks prior to DeSantis’ press conference, Trump took aim at ‘gutless’ politicians who refuse to reveal their booster shot status, while announcing he had received his own booster shot.
‘Well, I’ve taken it. I’ve had the booster. Many politicians – I watched a couple of politicians be interviewed and one of the questions was, “Did you get the booster?” – because they had the vaccine – and they’re answering like – in other words, the answer is “yes” but they don’t want to say it,’ Trump told One America News Network on January 11.
‘Because they’re gutless. You gotta say it – whether you had it or not. Say it.’
Florida, like most states, has been hit hard by the virus as cases spiked due to the Omicron variant. There were 80,951 new infections reported on Friday – nearly half as many as the high of 150,251 set just two weeks ago on Jan 4.
There were 660 reported COVID deaths on Friday.
Pictured: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks at a press conference on Friday, where he declined to say whether or now he received a booster shot
Ron DeSantis,right, refused to answer if he had received a COVID booster shot on Friday, after Donald Trump, left, called politicians who don’t publicly disclose their booster status ‘gutless’
A free monoclonal treatment site located in a tent is open for patients at the Miami Dade College North Campus on January 20, 2022 in Miami
There have been 5.28 million total cases and 63,763 deaths in the Sunshine State as through Friday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Trump’s comment kicked off speculation that he and DeSantis were at odds, which has since ramped up into weeks of media speculation about tensions between the two potential 2024 Republican presidential candidates.
While he did not disclose his booster shot status on Friday, DeSantis did offer some skepticism on the need for younger Americans to receive one.
‘I have said publicly that, you know, the FDA recommended against boosters for people in my age group, but the CDC overrode that, and I think that was based on politics. I don’t think that that was based on science,’ said DeSantis, who is 43.
‘So in Florida, they’ve been available for people. People can make their own decisions on it. But it’s not been something that, you know, that we’ve been telling people in my age group, you know, to go out and do.’
Trump and DeSantis, pictured, are the two current front-runners for the GOP presidential candidacy in 2024
Meanwhile, Trump hit back at reports of a bitter rift with Republican Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis on Wednesday, insisting they had a good relationship.
DeSantis has emerged as a heavyweight contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
The result has been a number of unnamed advisers trashing DeSantis to journalists amid reports that Trump is furious that the governor will not say he will stand aside if the former president decides to run again.
‘Well, I have a very good relationship with Governor DeSantis,’ said Trump on a conference with a small number of reporters when asked about the issue.
The call was to promote his coffee table book, ‘Our Journey Together,’ but Trump fielded questions on everything from the January 6 investigation and impeachment to whether he had plans for another book during the 20-minute conversation.
He did not say whether DeSantis was featured in his book, but said that the 43-year-old owed his political rise to Trump’s endorsement.