The war of words continues between the Governor and the White House regarding divergent visions of coronavirus response.
Gov. Ron DeSantis blasted President Joe Biden in Panama City, saying the President “rejects science” in pushing masks and proof of vaccination and warning Biden not to offer unsolicited advice on COVID-19 response.
DeSantis’ comments came after a roundtable with hospital leaders, in which the Governor attempted to show he was still on top of the policy of the fight. In Panama City, it was clear the politics weren’t over either.
“We can either have a free society, or we can have a biomedical security state,” DeSantis said. “Florida, we’re a free state.”
The Governor said Biden was unfair to Florida to distract from his failed border policy, adding that federal mandates wouldn’t fly in the Sunshine State.
“Joe Biden has taken it to himself to try to single out Florida over COVID,” DeSantis said. “This is a guy who ran for President saying he was going to quote shut down the virus. And what has he done? He’s imported more virus from around the world by having a wide-open southern border. You have hundreds of thousands of people pouring across every month.”
“And it’s not just from Mexico; in fact, it’s rarely from Mexico,” DeSantis continued. “You have over 100 different countries where people are pouring through. Not only are they letting them through there, they’re farming them out all across our communities across this country, putting them on planes, putting them on buses; you think they’re being worried about COVID for that? Of course not.”
“So he’s facilitating who knows what new variants are out there, but I can tell you whatever variants around the world, they’re coming across that southern border. And so he’s not shutting down the virus; he’s helping to facilitate it in our country, and what is his big solution? What is he so upset about Florida?”
“His solution is he wants to have the government force kindergartners to wear masks in school. He doesn’t believe the parents should have a say in that. He thinks that should be a decision for the government. Well, I can tell you in Florida, the parents are going to be the ones in charge of that decision,” DeSantis said, to whoops and applause.
But the Governor was not finished.
“And one of the major medical people in his administration just recently told parents that they should be wearing masks at home when they’re around their own children. This is insane. Joe Biden also believes that vaccination should be mandated by force of government and that you should have to show vaccination status to be able to participate in society now,” DeSantis said, going on to say Biden “rejects science.”
“He rejects science because he denies the fact that people that recover from COVID have long-lasting immunity, and that’s been proven time and time again,” DeSantis said. “The data is very clear, so his vision is just like in New York City (where some people think) restaurants should ban young kids from being able to go in because they’re not eligible for vaccination and law-abiding citizens have to produce proof of their medical records, just to go to the gym or attend events, or just to participate in everyday society.”
“He wants that, but yet if you want to vote, he thinks it’s too much of a burden to show a picture ID when you’re voting. So no voter ID, but you have to show your medical papers just to be able to live in everyday life? Give me a break,” DeSantis thundered.
“And so I think the question is, is, we can either have a free society, or we can have a biomedical security state, and I can tell you, Florida. We’re a free state, people are going to be free to choose to make their own decisions about themselves, about their families, about their kids’ education, and about putting food on the table, and Joe Biden suggests that if you don’t do lockdown policies, then you should ‘get out of the way,'” DeSantis said
“Well, let me tell you this,” DeSantis said. “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.”
“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.”
“So 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.”
DeSantis’ extended remarks came after Biden dismissed him and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott as virus obstructionists in comments Wednesday at the White House.
“I say to these governors: Please help. But if you aren’t going to help, at least get out of the way,” Biden said to reporters. “The people are trying to do the right thing. Use your power to save lives.”
At the end of his news conference, a reporter asked Biden why he doesn’t call DeSantis.
“To say happy birthday? What?” Biden responded. “He knows the message. We had a little discussion when I was down there. He knows the message. He’s decided.”