During a White House press conference on Tuesday, Press Secretary Jen Psaki addressed numerous questions regarding Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' handling of rising COVID-19 cases in his state.
In response to hitting a new record for COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state, one reporter asked Psaki for a response about DeSantis' approach to handling the pandemic and how he has issued executive orders preventing local authorities from issuing mask mandates, as well as how he chalked up the spike as being "seasonal."
"Well the data just doesn't back that up," said Psaki.
Psaki went on to state that seven states have issued similar orders as Florida in banning mask mandates across the state as well as in schools, with Texas going as far as fining teachers and professors that ask about the vaccination status of a student, and have unvaccinated students wear a mask.
"And I think the fundamental question we have is what are we doing here?" Psaki said, adding that the President's stance on the matter is that "we are all in this together."
"If you aren't going to help, if you aren't going to abide by public health guidance, then get out of the way, and let people do the right thing to lead in their communities whether they are teachers, university leaders, private sector leaders, or others who are trying to save lives," Psaki continued.
Psaki was also asked whether President Joe Biden would consider calling DeSantis in response to rising hospitalizations in Florida.
"If he thought it would make a difference, I'm sure he would," Psaki replied.
The reporter goes on to ask Psaki whether Biden feels that DeSantis "bears responsibility for the situation with regard to hospitalizations that is an outlier compared to the rest of the country?"
"Our objective and our hope would be to work in partnership, and not get into a food fight," said Psaki, stating that the administration is open to working with Governors "of all political stripes."
During a press conference earlier on Tuesday, DeSantis slammed how judgemental media and Democrat politicians have been of of COVID-19 patients who haven't been vaccinated, adding that we should be focused on helping, not blaming.
"Somebody contracts a highly transmissible airborne virus, and they’re viewed as having done something wrong," said DeSantis. "Thats just not the way you do it. When people come in you treat them. You know we obviously have some people who are not vaccinated that have been admitted to hospitals."
"Are you gonna sit there and criticize, or are we gonna try to treat and try to help the folks?" DeSantis continued. "I'm just sick of the judgmental stuff… Nobody's trying to get ill here, okay?"
DeSantis goes on to add that there were people who were "hermits for a year-and-a-half, that wore six masks and still contracted it."