Psaki Hits Back at DeSantis as Biden Admin and Florida Governor Clash Over Covid Leadership
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded to the broadsides from Gov. Ron DeSantis aimed at President Joe Biden on Wednesday after the president highlighted the skyrocketing number of Covid cases in Florida and Texas. Together, the states account for one-third of all new cases nationwide. On Tuesday Biden urged Republican officials in those states to adhere to public guidelines.
“Some governors aren’t willing to do the right thing to beat this pandemic, Biden said. “And they should allow businesses and universities who want to do the right thing to be able to do it.”
DeSantis didn’t take kindly to the advice.
“Joe Biden has taken to himself to try to single out Florida over Covid,” said the governor. “This is a guy who ran for president saying he was gonna ‘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.”
He added, “Why don’t you do your job? Why don’t you get this border secure? And until you do that, I don’t wanna hear a blip about Covid from you. Thank you.”
DeSantis has taken measures that would prevent some schools and businesses from implementing their own Covid protocols. Among the steps taken are a legally dubious executive order banning schools from requiring students to wear masks, and an order — currently being challenged — banning cruise ships from requiring customers to be vaccinated.
Not long after DeSantis slammed Biden, Psaki tweeted at the governor and noted that 23% of new hospitalizations in due to Covid in the United States are happening in Florida. She wrote, “We are doing everything we can to help the people of FL, and they’re stepping up by getting vaccinated – we hope @GovRonDeSantis joins us in this fight.”
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
During his remarks earlier in the day, DeSantis was defiant:
If you’re coming after the rights of parents in Florida? I’m standing in your way. If you’re trying to deny kids a proper in-person education, I’m gonna stand in your way and stand up for the kids in Florida. If you’re trying to restrict people and impose mandates and ruin their jobs and livelihood, if you are trying to lock people down, I am standing in your way. I am standing for the people of Florida.
Currently, Florida has more patients hospitalized due to Covid-19 than at any other time during the pandemic.
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