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“Hermits Wore Six Masks And Still Got Sick” Ron DeSantis Defends Antivaxxers

The GOP has a COVID problem. That is, as COVID-19’s Delta variant rages across the country, they’re forced to somehow grapple with the fact that they’ve spent over a year downplaying the virus and deriding all safety precautions. Now, several top Republicans are starting to reverse course, trying to encourage their supporters to get vaccinated and do what’s necessary to reduce the risks — but it doesn’t jibe with their longstanding message.

SURFSIDE, FLORIDA – JUNE 14: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference at the Shul of Bal Harbour on June 14, 2021 in Surfside, Florida. The governor spoke about the two bills he signed HB 529 and HB 805. HB 805 ensures that volunteer ambulance services, including Hatzalah, can operate. HB 529 requires Florida schools to hold a daily moment of silence. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has actually marketed “Don’t Fauci My Florida” and other anti-mask merch, and boasted about his state ‘avoiding shutdowns’ (though this involved high levels of cases in Florida).

[Screenshot via Ron DeSantis/WinRed]

Now, however, he’s beginning to urge his constituents to get vaccinated, as hospitals fill again with COVID-19 victims. He recently gave a speech warning his voters that almost everyone who has been hospitalized with the Delta variant was unvaccinated, and that the vaccines save lives.

Still, he’s been balancing that with continued messages encouraging the “freedom” to refuse to follow safety precautions, and on Tuesday he declared that it’s unfair to continue to point out that people who refuse vaccines are getting sick, because, he says, people who “were hermits for a year and a half and wore six masks” still contracted the virus.

Notably, while vaccinated people can still contract and even spread COVID-19, they are far less likely to become severely ill, and are less likely than unvaccinated people to spread the virus to others, as the CDC explains here.



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