While speaking in Port Charlotte, Florida on Thursday, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis responded to reports that the Biden administration might impose travel restrictions on the Sunshine state.
It was reported on Thursday that “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.” DeSantis said in response, "I think it would be unconstitutional, it would be unwise, and it would be unjust," and added that "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 continued, "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. 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 then illustrated Florida’s success against the virus versus other states across the country. "It’s unclear why they would even try talking about that; just look at the COVID situation in the state of Florida. So since December, the last couple months, Florida’s cases per capita compared to the rest of the country: 28th. 27 other states higher per capita cases, and for the entire pandemic, it’s a similar story. 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. So, since December 1, well over half the country has seen much worse COVID results than here in Florida."
The Governor then discussed the statistics on Florida hospitals in regards to the virus. "But all you have to do, too, is just look at some of the trends. ED visits for COVID-like illness (is) down 60 percent in Florida over the last 30 days. That’s the number one indicator for COVID spread. Hospitalized patients are down about 35 percent in Florida statewide over the last three weeks. And don’t forget, over the winter, Florida peaked at much less level than we did over the summer months. And we were way less per capita than a lot of lockdown states that are always cited as being 'the right way to do it.'"
DeSantis then championed the state’s vaccination success. "Meanwhile, we’ve vaccinated the most people of any state in the age bracket where most of the fatalities occur: age 65 and plus. We have now, reporting about 1.6 million seniors that have received a shot; that’s about 35 percent of our gigantic senior population, which is almost 4.5 million. We are number one for shots for seniors; we’ve done 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 every day."
The Sunshine State governor then called out the alleged threats as politics at its worst. "So any attempt to restrict or lock down Florida by the federal government would be an attack on our state done purely for political purposes."
DeSantis also discussed the success in keeping the state’s economy open and saving jobs. "We’ve had to stand by Floridians over these many, many months, even in difficult circumstances, even when it was not easy to do. We’ve saved their jobs time and time again. We’ve preserved small businesses time and time again, and we’ve preserved the right of parents to send their children to school in person. You look around the country, a lot of kids haven’t been in school since March of 2020. It’s an absolute disgrace. We led very early on that, and we’re much better for it."
DeSantis also issued a warning to the Biden administration. "We will not back down, and if anyone tries to harm Floridians or target us, we will respond very swiftly."