Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Wednesday brushed off a question from a reporter about if he has taken one of the COVID-19 vaccines, saying that despite having access to it as an elected official, he’s “not the priority.”
“I’m willing to take it, but I am not the priority,” DeSantis explained, then explaining that people in his age range will not be at the front of the line for vaccinations.
“I’m under 45, […] the people under 45 are not going to be first in line for this,” he added.
“When it is my turn, I will take it,” DeSantis continued, emphasizing that he wanted those at higher risk, such as the elderly, to be vaccinated first.
“Granted I’m an elected official, but whoop dee doo. At the end of the day, let’s focus on where the risk is,” he concluded.
The Florida governor’s comments come as other elected officials across the country refuse to get vaccinated before those who are at higher risk, with some, like Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), calling out their younger colleagues who have already gotten the vaccine, such as Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), as part of the continuity of government plan.
Some of the higher-ranking officials who have gotten their first doses of the coronavirus vaccine include Vice President Mike Pence, President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, as well as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Pence, it should be noted, is currently the most high-profile member of the Trump administration to receive a dose of the vaccine.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Biden frees Venezuelan President Maduro’s drug dealing relatives in prisoner swap
President Biden freed two of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s relatives Saturday in exchange for seven jailed Americans. The two nephews of Maduro’s wife Cilia Flores, had been convicted in the United States for drug dealing and sentenced to 18 years in prison, according to the BBC.
According to the report, the swap was in exchange for five American oil executives. Those Americans were “exchanged for two of Mr Maduro’s wife’s nephews, who were serving 18-year sentences in the US on drug charges,” the officials told the BBC. Maduro’s nephews were convicted under the Trump administration and the Venezuelan government claims that they were “unjustly” jailed in the United States.
In a statement from the White House Saturday, Biden said the American’s were “wrongfully detained.” He said the American’s would soon be reunited with their relatives, according to reports.
“Today, we celebrate that seven families will be whole once more. To all the families who are still suffering and separated from their loved ones who are wrongfully detained – know that we remain dedicated to securing their release,” the Biden statement added.
Meanwhile, 13 Republican members of Congress sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, requesting more information on “the intelligence report” that alleges Maduro is emptying his prisons and allowing them to head to the United States in the caravans that crossing the porous border.
The letter states that the report warns Border Patrol agents to be on the look-out for “violent criminals from Venezuela among the migrant caravans heading towards the U.S.-Mexico border.”
“It has been widely reported that the Venezuelan regime, under the control of Nicolás Maduro Moros, is deliberately releasing violent prisoners early, including inmates convicted of ‘murder, rape, and extortion,’ and pushing them to join caravans heading to the United States,” the letter states.
You can follow Sara A. Carter on Twitter @SaraCarterDC.
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