Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) revealed Monday that numerous politicians have traveled to the Sunshine State after enacting restrictions on their constituents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What is the background?
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) made headlines last week after she was spotted eating at a restaurant in Miami with her boyfriend. Ocasio-Cortez's Florida vacation came as her constituents in New York City battled a record number of COVID infections.
The New York Democrat drew more scrutiny after she was spotted without a face mask at a crowded Miami bar. Ocasio-Cortez was thus accused of hypocrisy because she has been a vocal proponent of restrictions and mandates throughout the pandemic. Yet her vacation to Florida, where she could enjoy the Sunshine State's freedom, calls into question the veracity of such advocacy.
What did DeSantis say?
Speaking at a press conference, DeSantis quipped that he would be a "pretty doggone wealthy man" if he "had a dollar for every lockdown politician who decided to escape to Florida over the last two years."
"I mean, congresspeople, mayors, governors, I mean, you name it," DeSantis said.
"It’s interesting, though, the reception that some of these folks will get in Florida, because I think a lot of Floridians say, 'Wait a minute, you’re bashing us because we’re not doing your draconian policies, and yet we’re the first place you want to flee to, to basically be able to enjoy life,'" he continued. "So, I’m not surprised to see that continue to happen."
“I can tell you, I mean there are probably about a half-dozen governors who had restrictions on their people and then were spotted at various points in Florida. Some of it’s been public, some of it‘s not been public, but you know, people tell me these things, and so these things are spotted," DeSantis explained. "That’s just the reality that we’re dealing with. I’m happy, though, that Florida is a place where people know they can come and they can live like normal people, they can make their own decisions."
Gov. DeSantis speaks in Fort Lauderdaleyoutu.be
Unfortunately, DeSantis did not expose the "lockdown politicians" he said have been traveling to Florida.
However, one such incident made national headlines in May.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), who enacted intense COVID restrictions, traveled to Florida in April despite blaming travel to the Sunshine State for a wave of COVID infections in Michigan. Whitmer claimed she traveled there to visit her sick father.