Florida Governor Ron DeSantis slammed the Biden Administration Thursday after White House officials floated to the media that it was considering a travel ban to and from the Sunshine State because of coronavirus concerns.
The Miami Herald reported on Wednesday that the White House was looking at “domestic travel restrictions as COVID mutation surges in Florida.”
“The Biden administration is considering whether to impose domestic travel restrictions, including on Florida, fearful that coronavirus mutations are threatening to reverse hard-fought progress on the pandemic,” the Herald reported.
During a press conference at a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination site at a southwest Florida retirement community, DeSantis called the report “absurd,” and said that such a policy would be “a political attack” on the state’s residents, not to mention “unconstitutional,” “unwise, and “unjust.”
“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,” the governor said. “So we will oppose it 100 percent.”
“It would not be based in science, it would purely be a political attack against the people of Florida,” DeSantis added.
The Florida Republican questioned why the Biden administration would even be talking about this, given that his state since December has been ranked number 28 in new cases, and 20 in hospitalizations per capita compared to the rest of the country. He said Florida’s ranking has been the same throughout the entire pandemic.
DeSantis also pointed out that the trends in Florida look very encouraging.
“ED [Emergency Department] visits for COVID-like illness [is] down 60 percent in Florida over the last 30 days,” the governor said. “That’s the number one indicator for COVID spread,” he added. “Hospitalized patients are down about 35 percent in Florida statewide over the past three weeks.”
DeSantis also pointed out that his administration has vaccinated “the most people of any state in the age bracket where most of the fatalities occur, age 65 plus.”
“So any attempt to restrict of lock down Florida by the federal government would be an attack on our state done purely for political purposes.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also lashed out at the Biden Administration Thursday, saying in a letter that a travel restriction on Florida would be an “outrageous, authoritarian move that has no basis in law or science.”
“Instead, it would only serve to inflict severe and devastating economic pain on an already damaged economy,” Rubio wrote. “If you are concerned about the coronavirus spread in Florida, I urge you to fast-track additional vaccines to the state instead of attempting to cripple our economy.”
The governor touted his decisions to keep businesses and schools in the state open, telling reporters, “we’re much better for it.” He vowed to continue standing by Floridians going forward.
“We will not back down, and if anyone tries to harm Floridians or target us, we will respond very swiftly,” DeSantis said.
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