Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was not having it when President Joe Biden tried to lecture him on implementing “the right” COVID-19 policies while the federal government is allowing hundreds of thousands of migrants, including those infected with the virus, into the United States.
At a Tuesday White House news conference, Biden said of the current COVID surge, “The escalation of cases is particularly concentrated in states with low vaccination rates.”
“Just two states, Florida and Texas, account for one-third of all new COVID-19 cases in the entire country,” the president said.
Well, before going any further, we must note that Texas and Florida are the second- and third-most-populous states in the country.
Additionally, both states experienced a major surge last July and August along with the rest of the South, while other regions of the nation did not, suggesting there is something seasonal in play.
“These things have a pattern,” DeSantis said at a news conference last month, WPTV-TV reported. “We saw the pattern last summer. It’s similar. I think it started a little later. I think people should just be prepared for that.”
He predicted the cases would start trending down this month.
Florida’s seven-day average of new cases is high, at approximately 17,600 per day, while Texas’ is 10,800.
By comparison, the nation’s most populous state, Democratic-led California, experienced a seven-day average of nearly 10,000.
The same surge pattern hit all three states last summer before there even was a vaccine, with Florida and Texas having higher peaks then too.
Contrary to what Biden claimed, Florida’s and Texas’ vaccination rates are not particularly low. They are middling, with Florida at 69.6 percent of adults with at least one jab (22nd among all the states) and Texas at 65.5 percent (ranked 30th).
President Biden said Florida and Texas make up one-third of all new COVID cases, calling out Govs. Desantis and Abbott over their bans on mask and vaccine mandates."If you aren't going to help, at least get out of the way of people who are trying to do the right thing." #winknews pic.twitter.com/pQTN7iH4I0
— Amanda Hall (@AmandaHallWINK) August 3, 2021
Biden also called on governors like DeSantis to “get out of the way” of more restrictive COVID policies being implemented.
“Look, we need leadership from everyone. 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.
“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,” he added.
DeSantis fired right back at Biden’s COVID critique, directing the president’s attention to the southern border.
Gov. Ron DeSantis blasts Joe Biden, tells him to do his job and that Florida is a place for freedom, not a "biomedical security state." pic.twitter.com/bsarqlnbHY
— (((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) August 4, 2021
“I just want to say something quickly, you know, Joe Biden has taken to himself to try to single out Florida over COVID,” the governor 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,” he added.
DeSantis pointed out that people have been apprehended from over 100 different countries. The Biden administration then sends them all over the U.S.
“Do you think they’re being worried about COVID for that? Of course not,” DeSantis said. “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.”
Meanwhile, Biden gets upset about Florida, the governor argued, because the state does not want to force children to wear masks in school or follow New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s lead and require proof of vaccination for customers dining indoors or going to the gym or other events.
“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,” DeSantis said.
“And Joe Biden suggests that if you don’t do lockdown policies, then you should quote, ‘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,” the governor continued.
“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.”
DeSantis concluded by once again raising the issue of the open southern border.
“So why don’t you do your job?” he asked. “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.”
Lockdowns did not work last year, and the states that implemented them took the longest to recover economically.
DeSantis is providing sound leadership, and the rest of America would do well to look to him and not Biden regarding COVID policy.