Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida accused Biden of leaving the Southern border “wide open” and causing the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.
The president and the governor exchanged a war of words last week after Biden criticized DeSantis’ handling of COVID-19. DeSantis made a highly contested claim, saying, “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.”
Critics and fact-checkers suggest the governor’s claim lacks evidence. However, recent reports prove an increase of COVID-19 cases among immigrants at the southern border, shelters, and processing centers around the country. The two politicians began their quarrel when Biden said, “Some governors aren’t willing to do the right thing to beat this pandemic … Florida and Texas account for one-third of all new COVID-19 cases in the entire country.”
Continuing, the president called out the Republican governors, saying, “I believe the results of their decisions are not good for their constituents, and it’s clear to me and to most medical experts that the decisions being made like not allowing mask mandates in school are bad health policy.”
DeSantis responded to the president’s remarks, saying, “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.”
Biden was asked what his response was to DeSantis vowing to stand in his way. He answered: “Governor who?” and began laughing. Governor DeSantis’ COVID-19 policies are in direct opposition to the Biden administration, which is taking directives from public health agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).