Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) criticism of virus boosters, and his opposition to some of President Trump’s more extreme positions, has drawn both praise and worry from health experts. Despite not being in lockstep with the president’s views on the pandemic, DeSantis has managed to cultivate both a loyal base of supporters and worry from public health professionals. Labeling boosters as “birdshot” and warning against “unrealistic” expectations, DeSantis has placed himself at odds with Trump’s stance on the pandemic — an unorthodox approach for many Republican governors.
In contrast to Trump’s refusal to commit to a booster shot or even acknowledge the concept of vaccine boosters, DeSantis has made it clear that boosters will be a necessary part of the pandemic strategy. DeSantis’s stances have made waves among public health professionals — some citing his comments about the virus as difficult to believe while others applaud his efforts to ensure public discussion of the reality of the pandemic situation in the Sunshine State.
The governor’s firm stances on the matter have pleased some, but they have also caused many to question DeSantis’s tactics. On one hand, his approach has redirected public discussion on the pandemic and provided a platform to promote alternatives to the president’s stance to a larger audience. On the other hand, some have raised concerns that too much emphasis is being placed on the negative aspects of the virus rather than the positive efforts being made to manage it. Whether the governor’s approach will prove successful or detrimental in the long-term remains to be seen, but for the time being it has been met with both approval and criticism from public health experts and members of the public alike.