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the DeSantis administration fired back at House majority whip James Clyburn, DS.C., after the third-highest House Democrat claimed the Florida governor “made it harder” to vaccinate children against COVID-19.

Clyburn made several claims about the Sunshine State’s availability of COVID-19 vaccines for children under five, saying in a press release that Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, took steps “to impede access to lifesaving coronavirus vaccines for Florida’s young children.”

FLORIDA GOV. RON DESANTIS SAYS WHITE HOUSE LYING ABOUT COVID VACCINE POLICY

Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, DS.C., made several claims about Florida’s policies regarding the vaccination of children against COVID-19.
(AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades)

The South Carolina Democrat also claimed DeSantis’ policies “have made it harder for parents across the state to get their children vaccinated” against COVID-19 and that the governor promoted “anti-vaccine misinformation” that made “it harder for parents to make fully informed decisions on how best to protect children’s health.”

“Coronavirus vaccines have proven to be safe and highly effective at reducing the risk of extremely severe illness, hospitalization, and death,” Clyburn wrote. “Now that they have been authorized for young children, all parents must be given accurate information on the vaccines’ benefits and must have the freedom to vaccinate their children without needless barriers put in place by politicians like Governor DeSantis.”

“I urge the governor to abandon this dangerous, anti-scientific approach, and I strongly encourage all parents of young children to provide them with the lifesaving protection of coronavirus vaccines as soon as possible,” he added.

Florida Gov.  Ron DeSantis' administration fired back against Clyburn's claims.  The Republican governor also accused the White House of lying about its COVID-19 vaccine policy for young children on Monday.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration fired back against Clyburn’s claims. The Republican governor also accused the White House of lying about its COVID-19 vaccine policy for young children on Monday.
((Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images))

In response to the claims, DeSantis’ administration fired back with a letter of their own to Clyburn, with Florida Surgeon General Joseph Lapado tweeting out his letter regarding the “blatantly false statements” made by the Democrat House whip’s office.

“It is unfortunate that your staff used this educational meeting as a launching pad for politically charged attacks,” Lapado wrote regarding the House COVID subcommittee’s Tuesday hearing with him.

“Information regarding the meeting released to media outlets earlier today mischaracterizes the conversation and we welcome the opportunity to clarify,” he continued.

Lapado pointed out that the Florida Department of Health has never limited vaccine access, as Clyburn claimed, and that private providers were “never restricted from ordering” when the department decided not to preorder vaccines.

“Separate from ordering, I recommended against pediatric COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5,” the Florida surgeon general wrote. “There are no data that prove this vaccine is more effective than the placebo in severe illness and reducing other clinically meaningful outcomes in this age group.”

“There is also inadequate data regarding the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine,” he continued, pointing to the risks associated with the vaccine, such as myocarditis and pericarditis in adolescent and young men.

Lapado also argued that Florida lives up to its name as the Sunshine State, providing robust data and information on COVID-19 treatments.

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“It is unfortunate that the information you released is perpetuating confusion among the public,” Lapado wrote. “Parents are in the best position to make these decisions for their children.”

“Florida remains committed to making recommendations and decisions based on data and science — not ideology,” he concluded the letter.

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