Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Friday that the federal government’s handling of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine was a “huge mistake,” as it caused confidence in the vaccine to plunge.
“We’re not helped in this regard by the behavior of some of these public health people, particularly in the federal government. I mean, how they handled the J&J was a huge mistake,” he said during a press conference.
DeSantis, a Republican, said the move by the Biden administration caused public confidence in vaccines to fall.
“I don’t know the information they have, but if you’re going to do that, you could have done that in a way that was not going to cause a lot of people to lose confidence,” he said. “If you look at how people view J&J now, the positive view plunged as a result.”
He also criticized the Biden administration for confusing messages on wearing masks.
“I also think it’s a problem where you’re telling people to get [the] vaccine, and yet people that have been vaccinated for months are wearing two masks … I also can’t square if the vaccines [are] effective, why would you need to be wearing two masks?” he said. “It doesn’t make sense. So I think the messaging on this has been horrific.”
The governor, who is widely regarded as a potential 2024 presidential candidate, said he believes the vaccines are effective but the federal government is giving confusing messages.
“I think it could have been handled better,” he said.
DeSantis appeared to be referring to the pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
The Epoch Times has reached out to the two agencies for comment.
The CDC and FDA recommended pausing the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after six cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, a rare but severe type of blood clot, were reported among people who received the vaccine.
The agencies didn’t link the blood clot symptom with vaccination but said the move was “out of an abundance of caution.”
Over 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine had been administered in the United States at the time of the announcement.
“Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare,” the two agencies said in a joint statement.
As the governments worldwide are pushing mass vaccination amid the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, also known as novel coronavirus, some cases of deaths caused by rare blood clots were reported after the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines were administered.
More clots have been seen in people who received the AstraZeneca jab.
The European Medicines Agency said there was a “possible link” between that shot and post-vaccination clots while Australia’s Vaccine Safety Investigation Group said the AstraZeneca vaccine was “likely” connected to a recent death in the country by blood clotting.
Some experts have said there are similarities between the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson shots, but scientists from Johnson & Johnson challenged that assertion in a letter on Friday.