Gov. Ron DeSantis said he has "a lot more to do" in Florida before he'll considering running for president in 2024 or beyond.
DeSantis addressed the rumors of a presidential run during an exclusive interview with NBC 6's Jackie Nespral in Tallahassee on Monday.
Earlier Monday, it was learned that DeSantis would be running for a second term as Florida's governor in 2022.
"I'm gonna run for governor and be here for the people of Florida," DeSantis told Nespral. "I appreciate people looking at me for different things but at the end of the day, we've accomplished a lot here but I've got a lot more to do."
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The 43-year-old Republican, who was elected to his first term as Florida's governor in 2018, said he's confident in next year's election but taking nothing for granted.
"Yeah I'm confident, but at the same time, you've gotta run hard," he said.
DeSantis touched on several other topics in the interview, including his ongoing battles with the Biden administration over COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
Florida has already sued the administration over a vaccine mandate for federal contractors and is fighting the Occupational Safety and Health Administration vaccine requirement for employees at businesses with 100 workers or more, which was temporarily halted over the weekend by a federal appeals court.
DeSantis was asked if he's going against science by not supporting vaccine mandates.
"The OSHA rule is against science because they specifically disclaim natural immunity from people who have recovered from Covid, and we've seen studies out of the Cleveland Clinic and Israel that shows recovery from Covid leads to protection. They make no acceptance for people that have recovered from Covid," DeSantis said.
The governor said it comes down to protecting workers from being fired over not wanting to get the vaccine.
"You should not have to choose between your job and a Covid jab," DeSantis told NBC 6. "These are people who have working this whole time, they've been working throughout the pandemic. There are people that have been delivering food to the grocery stores, there are people that have been working with Covid patients at a hospital, and to now tell them that they are out of luck and out of a job, that's not the right thing to do, we need to stand up for this."
Biden last week framed the issue as a simple choice between getting more people vaccinated or prolonging the pandemic.
But DeSantis said Biden and White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci have reversed course on mandates from just months ago.
"Here's the issue, Biden said six months ago the federal government doesn't have the authority to mandate this, Fauci used to say you can't mandate, now they're in a situation they're mandating, first of all, this should be a personal decision for people, but people will lose their jobs over this," DeSantis said.
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