TALLAHASSEE (FLV) – The DeSantis campaign resurfaced a 2021 interview with now-Democrat nominee for Florida governor Charlie Crist, who advocated for vaccine passports on Good Morning America.
“We should have vaccine passports. I think that’s important,” Crist said in response to the anchor asking his thoughts on the matter.
Crist went on to explain how the cruise line industry needs the vaccine requirement to avoid breakouts on the ships.
“I don’t know why the governor doesn’t believe in safety first, you know. I don’t get it,” Crist said. “And that’s why I’m running against him.”
Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo has said the COVID-19 vaccines do not stop the transmission of the disease. Dr. Anthony Fauci has made similar statements. The CDC updated its guidance in August to focus on “individuals making their own decisions about their level of risk and how they want to mitigate that risk.”
ANCHOR: “Congressman, you know, Governor DeSantis has also banned businesses from acquiring vaccine passports. And this obviously is going to have an impact on lots of businesses there in your state, including the cruise ship industry. Where do you stand on vaccine passports and businesses?”
CRIST: “We should have vaccine passports. I think that’s important. I met with some of the cruise line industry CEOs. And what they told me is that they don’t want to have a ship go out, you know, when we have three ports that really have an awful lot of cruise line industry, business jobs, etc. I mean, you know, if you talk about having 98% and you have 2% on the ship that are not vaccinated, you could suffer an outbreak. It would decimate the industry if that were to happen. I don’t know why the governor doesn’t believe in safety first, you know, I don’t get it. I really don’t. And that’s why I’m running against him.”Good Morning America, 2021
The interview highlights the stark contrast between Crist and his Republican opponent. Florida lawmakers, under Gov. Ron DeSantis’ leadership, prohibited schools, businesses, and government agencies from requiring people show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination.
“People can come here. You can do what you want. You’re not going to get shaken down to produce medical papers at the front of a restaurant,” DeSantis said in a May press conference.
The DeSantis Administration also successfully fought against Special Olympics International for requiring vaccine passports in order for athletes to compete. The group ended up dropping the requirement after being faced with a $27.5 million fine for breaking state law.
Ahead of the November election, Republicans have made an effort to remind voters of the policy stances Democrats took during the pandemic.
“The original Lockdown Libs, Florida Democrats, played politics with the jobs, educations and livelihoods of Floridians. Voters will remember that in November,” said RNC Spokeswoman Julia Friedland.
The RNC sent out prior tweets from Democrats urging DeSantis to “Please lock down Florida now” and to “defy the governor” and allow for mask mandates in schools and cities.
Republican U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds tweeted last week reminding voters that “Republicans kept your schools, businesses, churches, and state open.”
“Democrats kept liquor stores, strip clubs, the French Laundry, and personal salons OPEN, but everything you needed CLOSED,” Donalds said. “VOTE GOP!”
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