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'With all due respect, I find that deplorable:' Gov. DeSantis remarks on COVID-19 victim blaming

DeSantis said one of the reasons hospitals seeing much lower median age of patients is due to the large amount of seniors who were prioritized for shots.

MIAMI — Following a news conference about the removal of the Tamiami Trail roadbed Tuesday, Governor Ron DeSantis made several remarks regarding the spread of COVID-19 in Florida.

He pointed out that while we've seen 25,000 fully vaccinated people test positive for COVID-19, data suggests that the shots provide more immunity in regard to serious illness or death.

"All I can tell you is with the data we see, hospitals we talk to, point to this is helping reduce mortality especially among the most vulnerable," he said. 

DeSantis said one of the reasons hospitals seeing much lower median age of patients is due to the large amount of seniors who were prioritized for shots when the pandemic first began.

"In terms of shutting down, we're not shutting down, we're gonna have schools open," said DeSantis, saying that the State of Florida has a duty to protect jobs and businesses.

When asked by a reporter both about masks and children suffering from COVID-19 in relation to not being able to get the vaccine, he responded:

"They are not eligible for the vaccination... you're blaming the kids saying they weren't wearing masks, and so they are in the ICU, with all due respect I find that deplorable, to blame a victim who ends up being hospitalized. You don't know their story, you don't know what happened with that and this has been a really negative thing throughout this whole thing, with some of these quote experts and some of the media, ... somebody contracts a highly transmissible airborne virus and they are viewed as have done something wrong and that's just not the way you do it. When people come, in you treat them  You know we obviously have some people that have not been vaccinated admitted to hospitals, are you gonna sit there and criticize or are we gonna try to treat and try to help these folks? I'm sick of the judgmental stuff on some of this stuff, nobody is trying to get ill here."

Mask mandates and keeping kids away from those who are not vaccinated were some topics of a virtual town hall between doctors and parents Monday night.

Both are hot-button issues as the largest school district on the First Coast, Duval County Public Schools is back in session next week.  The town hall focused on how COVID-19 could have long-term effects on children. 

DeSantis said he wants to empower parents to make the best decision for their families and will not impose a mask mandate in schools or elsewhere.

RELATED: Webinar to discuss effects of COVID-19 on children, call for mask mandate in schools

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