DeSantis To Biden: ‘I Don’t Want To Hear Blip About Covid From You’

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DeSantis To Biden: ‘I Don’t Want To Hear Blip About Covid From You’

Topline

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday fired back at President Joe Biden for his criticism of Florida’s bans on school mask mandates and vaccine passports, escalating a war of words between the White House and one of the GOP’s most prominent rising stars.

US President Joe Biden alongside Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (L) speaks about the collapse of the … [+] 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside, during a briefing in Miami Beach, Florida, July 1, 2021. – President Joe Biden flew to Florida on Thursday to “comfort” families of people killed or still missing in the rubble of a beachfront apartment building, where hopes of finding survivors had all but evaporated. Biden and First Lady Jill Biden left the White House early for the flight to Miami, and then traveled by motorcade to nearby Surfside, where the death toll in the tragedy now stands at 18, and more than 140 still unaccounted for. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)


AFP via Getty Images

Key Facts

At a press conference, DeSantis accused Biden of trying to “single out” Florida, suggesting his administration’s border policies are responsible for a recent surge of coronavirus infections.

Biden accused DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who has also banned mask and vaccine mandates, of “bad health policy” during a speech on Tuesday, telling them to “help” or “get out of the way.”

DeSantis on Wednesday said his state will make coronavirus vaccines “available to all” but added “we’re not going to mandate it,” telling Biden, “I don’t want to hear a blip about Covid from you.”

Psaki noted in a tweet soon after DeSantis’ comments that nearly a quarter of new coronavirus hospitalizations in the U.S. are in Florida, which makes up just under 7% of the U.S. population.

Psaki also extended an olive branch to DeSantis, tweeting that the administration is “doing everything we can to help the people of [Florida] ,” and adding, “We hope [Gov. DeSantis] joins us in this fight.”

Big Number

137%. That’s how much hospitalizations in Florida have risen in the last two weeks, with deaths rising by 104%, according to data compiled by the New York Times. That’s compared to a 92% increase in hospitalizations and a 49% increase in deaths nationwide.

Tangent

DeSantis is seen as a frontrunner for the Republican nomination for president if former President Donald Trump steps aside. He has consistently polled at the top of the pack in 2024 GOP primary polls with Trump excluded.

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