Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis lashed out at Joe Biden after the President criticized him for banning mask mandates as his state has set a new record of COVID hospitalizations
Speaking at a news conference, DeSantis promised to stand in the way of “lockdown policies” and accused Biden of trying to restrict the rights of parents and children in Florida.
“Joe Biden suggests that if you don’t do lockdown policies, then you should ‘get out of the way.’ But let me tell you this: If you’re coming after the rights of parents in Florida, I’m standing in your way. I’m not going to let you get away with it,” DeSantis said.
“If you’re trying to deny kids a proper in-person education, I’m going to stand in your way and I’m going to stand up for the kids in Florida. If you’re trying to restrict people, impose mandates, if you’re trying to ruin their jobs and their livelihoods and their small business, if you are trying to lock people down, I am standing in your way and I’m standing for the people of Florida,” he continued.
However, the President has never suggested a lockdown. Instead, he has encouraged the use of masks to minimize the spread of the virus.
DeSantis said Biden should focus on illegal immigration at the southern border, suggesting that was contributing to the spread of the virus.
“Why don’t you do your job, why don’t you get this border secure and until you do that, I don’t want to hear a blip about COVID from you,” the Republican governor said.
DeSantis’s outburst came a day after Biden rebuked him and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) for signing directives that ban mask mandates in public schools and other places. Florida and Texas are among a handful of states, all with GOP governors, that have issued directives barring mask requirements to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“We need leadership from everyone and if some governors aren’t willing to do the right thing to beat this pandemic, then they should allow businesses and universities who want to do the right thing to be able to do it,” Biden said at the White House on Tuesday afternoon.
“I say to these governors, please help. If you aren’t going to help, at least get out of the way of people who are trying to do the right thing. Use your power to save lives,” Biden said.
Biden later made clear that he believes the decisions by DeSantis and Abbott are “bad health policy.”
Watch DeSanti’s response in the video below.
23% of new COVID hospitalizations in the U.S are in Florida, and their hospitals are being overwhelmed again.
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) August 4, 2021