While Democrat politicians have advocated for prisoners and healthy people of color to be vaccinated first, Florida's Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis chose to stand up for the most vulnerable population affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
During a press conference in Delray Beach at Kings Point Golf and Country Club, the governor reiterated Wednesday morning the importance of residents aged 65 and older to be prioritized in the COVID-19 vaccine line-up.
DeSantis emphasized that senior citizens have "been most at risk for COVID. It's impacted their lives greater and we have a responsibility to stand by those folks who’ve done so much to make our state and country what it is today."
Prior to the briefing, DeSantis was asked by the press if he was willing to receive his dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
"I'm willing to take it, but I'm not the priority. They're the priority," DeSantis spoke of the elderly, noting that he himself is under the age of 45.
He went on to argue that people under this age bracket should not be first in line. "So when it's my turn, I will take it. But this is who I want to be vaccinated: I want my parents, I want our grandparents to be able to get it," DeSantis explained.
"Granted I’m an elected official but whoop-dee-doo. At the end of the day, let's focus on where the risk is," the governor fired back at reporters. His response evoked an applause.
Conservative commentator Mike Cernovich remarked: "This the only Republican who consistently stands up for himself. No names being floated comes close to this."
As of last week, 25 out of all 50 states have "committed to a focus on racial and ethnic communities" when its leaders decided who should receive the novel coronavirus vaccine first.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) asked state leaders to look at possible critical and vulnerable groups when determining their demographic order. Such communities of color were mentioned as top candidates regardless of health status for early delivery of the vaccine.
Meanwhile, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) told CNN's "Inside Politics" that she would work to prioritize prisoners. The Massachusetts lawmaker declared this as her state announced that inmates would be among the first to be inoculated after healthcare workers and the elderly.