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Trump’s Latest Vaccine Comments Sound Like a Jab at DeSantis

Former President Donald Trump said in a Tuesday TV interview that politicians who won’t own up to receiving COVID-19 boosters are “gutless.”

SO WHAT

Were the comments a Trumpian brushback of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a potential 2024 rival who recently declined to disclose his booster status?

WHAT TRUMP SAID

During the interview with One America News, Trump strongly declined to take an opportunity host Dan Ball gave him to “reconsider” his support for COVID-19 vaccines.

Instead, Trump went on the offensive, scornfully describing a scenario that sounded a lot like DeSantis’ dodge on the booster question during a Fox News interview last month.

  • “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 Ball. “Because they’re gutless. You gotta say it – whether you had it or not. Say it.”
  • Late last month, Trump came out forcefully in favor of COVID-19 vaccines, which his administration helped develop, and he since has refused to back down despite significant pushback from vaccine skeptics among his allies and supporters.

WHY TRUMP SAID IT

According to reports, Trump has grown frustrated with DeSantis’ refusal to publicly bend the knee to him.

  • Neither man has announced a 2024 presidential bid, but Trump has strongly signaled he’s running while DeSantis has said he will run for a second term as governor.
  • In an October interview with Yahoo!, Trump addressed chatter about DeSantis assuming the MAGA mantle, saying: “If I faced him, I’d beat him like I would beat everyone else.”

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