FL Governor Says He's Not Taking COVID Vaccine Ahead of Seniors: I'm 'Not the Priority'

Florida's vaccine plan caters to its large retirement population, and even the state's Republican governor isn't going to stand in the way of protecting Florida elders.

Governor Ron DeSantis shared why he's not in line for a coronavirus vaccine just yet, as he visited seniors who received 300 doses of the vaccine at King's Point in Delray Beach Wednesday.

In a video shared by the Florida GOP on Twitter, DeSantis revealed his personal vaccine plan.

We are working diligently to protect our seniors – many of whom are part of America’s Greatest Generation. Their resolve, service and countless sacrifices built our country to what it is today, and we will always have their back. pic.twitter.com/ysAgoNlekm

— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) December 31, 2020

"I'm willing to take it, but I am not the priority, they're the priority. I'm under 45," he told an audience member. "People under 45 are not going to be first in line for this, so when it's my turn, I will take it.

"I want my parents, our grandparents to be able to get it," he continued. "I'm an elected official but whoopie-doo, at the end of the day let's focus where the risk is."

Ron DeSantis
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a new conference on the surge in coronavirus cases in the state held at the Jackson Memorial Hospital on July 13, 2020, in Miami. Joe Raedle/Getty Images/Getty

.@GovRonDeSantis visited Delray today where seniors took their first dose of the Moderna vaccine. Thank you Governor for putting seniors first! pic.twitter.com/BWDUuWVFEl

— Florida GOP (@FloridaGOP) December 30, 2020

DeSantis isn't the only elected official who is stepping out of the vaccine line for now. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard shared a similar note on Twitter Thursday.

"I'm calling on every member of Congress & their staff, and all millennials/Gen Xers, to join me in refusing to take the COVID vaccine until after our parents & grandparents can get it," she wrote. "Put our seniors over 65 first. They are the most vulnerable to serious illness or death."

I will join you @TulsiGabbard

Most of our parents and grandparents have lived in lonely isolation since “15 days to slow the spread” started back in March.

The ones in need of a vaccine, if they choose, are those over 65.

Let’s put them 1st!

We have a 99%+ survival rate. https://t.co/ZBJC1reFzn

— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) January 1, 2021

Despite the action taken with seniors in mind, DeSantis' handling of the pandemic in his state has been under scrutiny, after he ordered Florida's full reopening in September and removed a face mask mandate.

Attention has shifted over the rollout of Florida's 127,100 Moderna vaccine doses. The Tampa Bay Times reported that one elderly man was made to urinate in a plastic bag while waiting in a long line for the COVID vaccine.

#Florida legislator calling out @GovRonDeSantis as seniors wait in long lines for coronavirus vaccines. One man in Leon County apparently had to pee in a plastic bag because there was no where else to go, @JimRosicaFL reports. https://t.co/8v7hzYgDMj

— Megan Reeves (@mareevs) December 31, 2020

.@GovRonDeSantis and his administration failed to prepare Florida for #COVID19. He and his administration failed to prepare for #covid vaccine distribution. Seniors are in line urinating in bags. What do women seniors do?

If Ron had any f**king clue, this didn’t have to happen.

— Gwen Graham (@GwenGraham) December 31, 2020

Florida Representative Omari Hardy contributed to the critique of DeSantis' planning. "We knew this vaccine was coming for months and months, and now, after a chaotic rollout, after seniors have been made to camp out overnight for vaccine, @GovRonDeSantis says that he'll ramp it up in 2021," Hardy wrote on Twitter Thursday. "Dude, we needed your leadership in 2020!"

We knew this vaccine was coming for months and months, and now, after a chaotic rollout, after seniors have been made to camp out overnight for vaccine, @GovRonDeSantis says that he'll ramp it up in 2021. Dude, we needed your leadership in 2020! https://t.co/bTKZiMnnY6

— Rep. Omari Hardy (@OmariJHardy) December 31, 2020

As of Friday, Florida had reported a total of 1.32 million coronavirus cases since the inception of the virus in early 2020. Over 17,000 new positive cases were confirmed on Thursday.

Newsweek reached out to DeSantis and Hardy for further comment on vaccines and Florida's safety plan, but didn't hear back at the time of publication.