Former Rep. David Jolly (R-Fla.) suggested Friday that COVID-19 vaccines will become a worrying â€œwedge issueâ€ between former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) during their rumored respective runs for the White House in 2024.
â€œIs this a wedge issue now that Ron DeSantis wants between him and MAGA nation and between him and the former president?â€ Jolly asked MSNBCâ€™s Nicolle Wallace during a discussion about DeSantisâ€™ nominee for Florida Surgeon General, the anti-mask, anti-lockdown and vaccine skeptic Dr. Joseph Ladapo.
Ladapoâ€™s nomination was indicative of the â€œpandemic of lunacy that is infectingâ€ todayâ€™s GOP, said Jolly, who left the party in 2018. â€œYou simply have to deny the reality of COVID, you have to deny science, you have to deny the competence of our leading public health officials for political purposes,â€ lamented the former House lawmaker.
â€œDoes the Florida governor agree that Trumpâ€™s Operation Warp Speed was successful or not?â€ he asked. â€œWelcome to the big leagues, Ron DeSantis. Tell us.â€
Watch the interview here:
Jolly last week warned DeSantis would be â€œfar more dangerousâ€ as president than Trump. â€œHeâ€™s more savvy. Heâ€™s more coy. And he doesnâ€™t have the pitfalls that Donald Trump does,â€ he cautioned. â€œHeâ€™s really kneecapping democracy right now for people of Florida, and he will successfully do it on the national stage should he get to the White House.â€
Trump endorsed DeSantis in 2018 but tensions have reportedly soured over their potential rival runs. Trump has allegedly groused about DeSantisâ€™ failure, so far, to say he wonâ€™t run against him. The former presidentâ€™s attack on â€œgutlessâ€ politicians who havenâ€™t revealed whether theyâ€™ve received the COVID booster shot was seen as a not-so-subtle dig at the Florida governor.