White House returns serve to Ron DeSantis over Novak Djokovic travel ban
Karine Jean-Pierre has choice words for Florida's Governor.

Biden's spokesperson said the question was better suited to the CDC.

Criticism of a travel ban blocking Novak Djokovic from the upcoming Miami Open led to a return volley from the Joe Biden administration.

White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre fielded the serve from Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has urged the Biden White House to rescind the prohibition of the top-ranked tennis player in the world from the South Florida tennis tourney.

Djokovic has not been vaccinated against COVID-19, and DeSantis’ pleas to let the Serbian superstar into Florida for the tennis tourney were batted away unceremoniously by Jean-Pierre, as Fox News reports.

“So, on a question regarding the vaccination requirement, I would refer you to the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). They’re the ones who deal with that. It’s still in place, and we expect everyone to abide by our country’s rule, whether as a participant or a spectator.”

DeSantis wrote the President a letter condemning the “unfair, unscientific and unacceptable” travel ban preventing Djokovic from being able to “delight and inspire” tennis fans at the Miami tourney.

The Governor described Djokovic as “the most accomplished tennis player in history and the reigning top-ranked player in his sport,” while invoking John McEnroe, who described the ban as “absurd.” He also cited Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo’s guidance “recommending against the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines for males ages 18-39 years old,” in support of his claim.

Though Djokovic has formally withdrawn from the Miami event, DeSantis’ letter contrasts the “travel ban” on Djokovic for his lack of a COVID-19 vaccination to the administration allowing “thousands of unvaccinated migrants” in through the southern border.

DeSantis has suggested alternative modes of entry, meanwhile.

“Now, I would run a boat from the Bahamas here for him. I would do that 100%, but I think his people are looking at it, and I’m not sure that’s the way they want to come into the country, which I understand,” DeSantis said.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • JD

    March 9, 2023 at 5:53 pm

    And does Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo have credibility these days amongst his peers? A nepotistic yes-man for pandering lies about covid-19’s lack of severity and issues with the vaccine.

    • Dan

      March 9, 2023 at 6:22 pm

      Well you can’t trust the Feds, that’s for sure. They now even admit they covered up the lab leak. And they keep this ban in place while they don’t check the vax status of the people entering the southern border. You liberals have to explain how that makes medical sense.

      • JD

        March 9, 2023 at 7:05 pm

        There is zero admittance of cover up.

        If you are referring to the Department of Energy assessment, it was “of Low Confidence”. I concede that is not zero, but it is not an admission.

        Likewise, they were vaccinating the immigrants caught at the border as of last year. If they refuse, they are detained and removed. If they’re not caught crossing, sure, but that’s not for lack of trying. So unless they changed this, then there isn’t anything the liberals need to explain on the medical sense front.

        • Lex

          March 10, 2023 at 9:51 am

          We’ll probably never know 100% whether COVID came from a lab or not, but we do have low confidence. If anybody should receive a waiver from this travel ban, it would be an athlete like Djokovic. This issue with all the COVID “rules” has been a lack of grounding in reality and common sense. Some of the rules were necessary. Many of the rules were wrong and should have been corrected as soon as “experts” knew they were wrong. ie the effectiveness of masks. My guess is that Djokovic did get COVID at some point and probably has as much natural immunity as the vaccine provides anyway. So again, I would say some rules are okay, but they need to be the least intrusive necessary. This is just a fabulous example of not using common sense.

          • Dems are ALL groomers

            March 11, 2023 at 10:52 am

            “Zero evidence of a cover up”? You ign0rant f00l, you neglect to mention one of Dr. Fraudci’s peers wrote him a letter/email saying words to the effect: “This virus looks like it was manufactured in the lab!” Dr. Fraudci had words with him and a couple days later the peer went on record “oh, this looks like it came from nature…” Dr. Fraudci then gathered those who had been funneling funds to China for gain of function research to argue as one that the virus appeared “natural.” He even lied to congress claiming that he wasn’t funneling money to China to fund gain of function research. Dr. Fraudci has been lying since the first day the news broke. And you are just gullible enough to believe him.

  • T Jones

    March 10, 2023 at 6:58 pm

    Why should athletes or celebrities get a waiver from the travel ban, over anyone else?? They are no better or more important that other people. People like you, with your distorted star-struck views..are why celebrities/athletes are so spoiled.. and ridiculously believe, they are better, and deserve special privileges and advantages, over everyone else.

    • Lynne

      March 11, 2023 at 1:16 pm

      This 100%

  • Earl Pitts American

    March 11, 2023 at 9:07 am

    Good morning America and Ron,
    Dispite the constant references from the “Outkick” self promoting “Clay” on the Rush replacement “Buck and Clay: radio show that tennis player’s situation is not a situation American conservative voters give a “[email protected]’s @55” about.
    Yeah Ron its good you mentioned it but its a time wasting hill you dont want to die on.
    Take Earl’s advice Ron, American conservative voters dont give a [email protected] about tennis, soccer, or water polo. Carry on Ron.
    As we have witnessed Clay does not miss a day digging up some obsure sports reference then making a plug for “Outkick” each and every annoying time.
    Rush’s wife Katherine needs to put a leash on the annoying self promoting Clay’s broken record of constantly weaving “Outkick” into the radio show.
    Thank you America,
    Earl Pitts American

Comments are closed.


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