During an appearance on CNN, Dr. Anthony Fauci the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, criticized Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, saying DeSantis was "completely incorrect" about Covid-19 vaccines.
Fauci's comments came after DeSantis, whose Covid-19 response has been harshly criticized, insisted that whether or not a person gets a Covid-19 vaccine comes down to "personal choice" and "doesn't impact me or anyone else."
You can hear Fauci's remarks in the video below.
Fauci stated that vaccines remain the best way to "control" infectious diseases like Covid-19:
"If he [DeSantis] feels that vaccines are not important for people, that they are just important for some people, that's completely incorrect."
""Vaccination has been the solution to every major public health issue in which a vaccine was developed for. I mean; Smallpox, polio, measles."
"I'm not sure what people are talking about when they push back on vaccinations. It is historically, over decades and decades and decades, shown to be the way you control an infectious disease."
He further rebuked DeSantis's suggestion that a decision whether or not to get vaccinated has no impact on anyone else:
"Well, that's not true at all. I mean, obviously it's important for you as an individual for your own personal protection, safety and health."
"But when you have a virus that's circulating in the community and you are not vaccinated, you are part of the problem because you are allowing yourself to be a vehicle for the virus to be spreading to someone else."
""It isn't as if it stops with you. If that were the case, then it would only be about you. But it doesn't."
"You can get infected even if you get no symptoms or minimally symptomatic and then pass it onto someone who in fact might be very vulnerable, an elderly person, a person with an underlying disease."
"So when dealing with an outbreak of infectious disease, it isn't only about you. There is a societal responsibility that we all have."
Fauci was largely praised for his remarks, expressing frustration with individuals who have chosen thus far not to get vaccinated.
Meanwhile, others leveled criticisms at DeSantis for his response to the pandemic.
Covid-19 has killed nearly 47,000 in Florida alone.
The state currently holds the distinction of having the highest rate of infection within the United States.
DeSantis has resisted mask mandates and downplayed the pandemic's severity at every turn. At the end of last month, a Florida judge threw out his order prohibiting school mask mandates.
So controversial has been DeSantis's Covid-19 response that he was skewered by the editorial board ofThe Miami Herald, who admonished him for exhibiting "a profile in selfishness."
The board wrote, in part:
"This governor already has gone to war against school boards and parents who want to keep kids safer in schools with mask mandates. He's fought against cruise lines that want to preserve their businesses by making sure their customers can stay COVID-free on ships, by requiring vaccines."
"Now he's dismissing the role of vaccines in reducing community spread. And it's the opposite of what he says."
"COVID's spread actually is a community problem, and solving it starts with vaccines."
The board went on to note that getting a Covid-19 vaccine "vastly reduces the chances of being hospitalized or dying of the disease" as well as reduce "the spread of the virus to others."