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Governor DeSantis Slams Univision Over Fake and Bias Report on Vaccine Passports

Univisión, Ron DeSantis, fake news, informe falso


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The office of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis released a statement responding to a story published by Spanish-language news network Univision.

The media outlet published a television report where it misrepresented and decontextualized Governor DeSantis’ position regarding vaccine passports and the revival of the cruise industry.

“The cruise industry has been greenlit to conduct test cruises and subsequently return to operation along U.S. waters, after COVID’s harsh impact against that sector. However, the companies are between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are asking them to comply with a set of requirements. And on the other hand, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is opposed to some of these,” explained the Univision report.

“He says that his intention is to restart tourism in order to help industry workers, and he rejects that, on test cruises, crews should be 100% vaccinated along with 75% of passengers,” Univision continued.

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The news network’s report is inaccurate, to say the least. It implies that DeSantis refuses to allow travelers not to be vaccinated when the governor in fact recommends that Floridians and foreigners get vaccinated, but does not require mandatory vaccination because it would be a government imposition on the lives of citizens which is different from being refusing vaccination or promoting being against vaccines.

Univision - El American
Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis. (EFE)

The report also ignores momentous facts, such as that there are cruise lines that will no longer require vaccination passports, as is the case with Royal Caribbean.

“Guests are strongly recommended to set sail fully vaccinated, if they are eligible,” the company said. “Those who are unvaccinated or unable to verify vaccination will be required to undergo testing and follow other protocols, which will be announced at a later date.”

Governor DeSantis sued the CDC to get the cruise industry revived as soon as possible.

Royal Caribbean International CEO Michael Bayley thanked DeSantis and other Florida state officials for pushing for the revival of the tourism sector and the cruise industry.

Response from Governor DeSantis’ office to Univision

The Media Research Center (MRC), a content analysis group released the statement from Governor DeSantis’ office against Univision’s false report.

According to the governor’s office, Univision “blatantly” misrepresented DeSantis’ position regarding COVID-19 vaccination.

“The segment on Univision blatantly lied about Governor DeSantis’ position on vaccine passports and the cruise industry. The Governor does not reject the idea that anyone should be vaccinated; his position is that choosing to get a COVID-19 vaccine is a personal decision and must not be mandated – by the government or by corporations,# reads part of the office’s response to Univision.

“Therefore, he opposes the CDC’s efforts to coerce cruise lines to break Florida law by requiring proof of vaccination from passengers.”

Univisión, EL American
A Univision headquarters. (Wikimedia Commons)

Also, Governor DeSantis’s office added, “COVID-19 vaccines are freely available in Florida at more than 2,000 convenient sites throughout our state (…) However, some Floridians may be unable to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination due to health, religious, or other personal reasons. Floridians have the right to medical privacy. Individual vaccination records are private health information, which should not be shared by mandate or used as a basis for discrimination.”

Finally, the response from the Governor’s office denounced that Univision wanted to establish in its report that there is a conflict of interest between Ron DeSantis and the cruise industry, but in reality, both are working to reactivate tourism in the state of Florida to deal with the economic damage left by the pandemic.

Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón is a journalist at El American specializing in the areas of American politics and media analysis // Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón es periodista de El American especializado en las áreas de política americana y análisis de medios de comunicación.

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