UPDATED 7:00 PM PT – Thursday, February 11, 2021
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) slammed Joe Biden over reports that he plans to place travel restrictions on Florida.
In a video statement on Thursday, DeSantis said Biden’s reported plans to block people from traveling to the Sunshine State are possibly unconstitutional. He pointed out the Biden administration’s hypocrisy in considering restrictions on Florida while allowing illegal immigrants to flood into the United States along the southern border.
The recent report that the Biden administration is considering restricting the travel of Floridians is completely absurd, especially when Biden allows illegal aliens to pour across our southern border. We won’t allow Floridians to be unfairly targeted for political purposes. pic.twitter.com/h47AVuof50
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) February 11, 2021
“If you think about it, restricting the right of Americans to travel freely throughout our country while allowing illegal aliens to pour across the southern border unmolested would be a ridiculous but very damaging farce,” DeSantis stated. “So we will oppose it.”
All this was in response to a Miami Herald story Wednesday, which cited an anonymous Biden administration official who said they are looking at “anything that would help mitigate spread” of the new mutation of the virus from the U.K., which has been detected in Florida.
Nearly a third of cases of this new strain in the U.S. have been in Florida
However, in Thursday’s statement, DeSantis cited Florida’s coronavirus numbers, saying that by many metrics things have gotten much better since December of last year.
“Hospitalizations per capita over this time period, Florida ranks 30th, 29 other states have higher per capita hospitalizations. Fatalities per capita for this same period, Florida ranks 42nd, 41 states have higher per capita fatalities,” DeSantis stated. “So since December 1st, well over half the country has seen much worse COVID results than here in Florida.”
He also pointed toward the state’s mass vaccination of senior citizens, which is the group most likely to die from COVID-19 complications.
“We are number one for shots for seniors,” DeSantis said. “75 percent of all shots administered in Florida have gone to senior citizens and the percentages of seniors that have been vaccinated is one of the highest in the country and it continues to grow.”
DeSantis ended by saying attempts by the federal government to restrict travel in his state would be nothing more than a political powerplay and his administration has and will continue to protect Floridians from government overreach.
The following month he said banning travel from any part of the world will not stop coronavirus.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 11, 2021
“And so any attempt to restrict or lockdown Florida by the federal government would be an attack on our state done purely for political purposes,” DeSantis said. “We’ve saved their jobs time and time again, we’ve preserved small businesses time and time again. We preserved the right of parents to send their children to school in person.”
In a statement, the CDC said it is still weighing its options in terms of travel restrictions and no final decisions have been made.