Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who fired former COVID-19 data scientist Rebekah Jones for refusing to lie about the number of COVID-19 cases in the state and then had her arrested, was himself caught lying about the number of CIVID vaccines administered under his lead.
On Friday, after calling a 100-year-old World War II veteran getting a vaccine against the coronavirus “an American hero,” DeSantis proclaimed the recipient would be the 1 millionth senior in his state to get a lifesaving shot in the arm.
However, as noted by the Associated Press, the assertion was not true, and the Republican governor later walked back the claim, saying instead that the injection was symbolic of the state being on track to hit 1 million doses soon.
State officials acknowledged that it could take a few more days to reach the milestone. DeSantis’ own health department reported that, as of Thursday, fewer than 840,000 seniors had received the shot.
The governor’s falsehood came as Florida’s congressional Democrats, in a letter to DeSantis, expressed “serious concerns with the state’s rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.”
The letter chided the governor for confusing and misleading the public on vaccine distribution and availability, citing “a perception of unfairness and political motivation.” Democrats also faulted him and his administration for the delay in establishing a statewide system to schedule vaccination appointments.
State officials had no immediate comment on any of those assertions.