Gov. Ron DeSantis again declined Friday to say whether he received the COVID-19 booster shot, even after his mentor, Donald Trump, called politicians who dodge the booster question "gutless."
DeSantis called his booster status a "private matter" during an event in Sarasota, despite having revealed details of his vaccination status in the past.
“That’s something that I think people should just make their own decisions on," DeSantis said. "I’m not going to let that be a weapon for people to be able to use; I think it’s a private matter."
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Trump drew attention to the governor's booster status last week, making the "gutless" comment in an interview with One America News. The former president seemed to be reacting to DeSantis's equivocating when asked about his booster status during a Fox News interview in December.
DeSantis told Fox News that: “I’ve done whatever I did, the normal shot, and that at the end of the day is people’s individual decisions about what they want to do.”
Trump later told OAN that politicians should be forthright about their booster status.
"I watched a couple politicians be interviewed and one of the questions was, 'Did you get a 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, because they're gutless," Trump said.
"You gotta say it," Trump added. "Whether you had it or not, say it."
Asked about DeSantis deflecting on the booster shot question, former New Jersey governor and GOP candidate for president Chris Christie said during an interview this week with the Herald-Tribune that politicians who try to get “too cute” can get themselves in trouble.
“I would just say this as a general observation: when you get too cute playing politics it can often come back to bite you, so just tell the truth and you’d be much better off,” Christie said.
The responsible thing for DeSantis to do is publicly announce his vaccination status, Christie said.
“On Gov. DeSantis, like anybody else in public life, you should be fully disclosing this not because the public has a right to know ... it’s because you’d want to set an example for people as a leader,” Christie said, adding: “Actions speak louder than words and showing people what you’re actually willing to do yourself tells them a lot about how you feel about an issue.”
DeSantis did disclose last year that he received the one shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Trump was booed at an event in Dallas when he revealed that he received the booster.
Follow Herald-Tribune Political Editor Zac Anderson on Twitter at @zacjanderson. He can be reached at email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Ron DeSantis still won't answer COVID-19 vaccine question