Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (Fla.) hit back at President Joe Biden's administration after White House press secretary Jen Psaki criticized his response to the burgeoning COVID-19 pandemic in the Florida Republican's state.
What are the details?
During a Wednesday news conference, DeSantis demanded Biden do his job and secure the U.S. southern border before admonishing the Florida governor about the state's rising coronavirus cases.
"Why don't you do your job?" DeSantis demanded. "Why don't you get this border secure? And until you do that, I don't wanna hear a blip about COVID from you, thank you."
DeSantis continued, "This is a guy who ran for office saying he's going to 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."
Earlier this week, Psaki slammed DeSantis for what she and the Biden administration said was a failure in responding to the public health crisis in the predominantly Republican state.
DeSantis has been rather outspoken in his opposition to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest updated guidelines recommending universal masking in both schools and across high-transmission areas.
During Tuesday's press briefing, Psaki said of the rising cases in Florida and other areas of the southeast, "[I]f 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, or private sector leaders or others who are trying to save lives."
She added, "Leaders are going to have to choose whether they're going to follow public health guidelines or they're going to follow politics."
How did DeSantis respond?
In a statement on Psaki's remarks, the DeSantis administration told Fox News:
She might want to brush up on the Constitution and learn more about the role of a state governor. As it turns out, freedom matters. Every day, nearly a thousand Americans relocate to Florida — mostly fleeing from the ever-changing, contradictory COVID restrictions pushed by federal bureaucrats on lockdown states. By contrast, Governor DeSantis keeps up with the latest research and makes data-driven decisions. If he had 'gotten out of the way' as Psaki suggested, and let the CDC run our state, many of those lives might have been lost — as we saw with the tragic situation in New York, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, where the age-adjusted death rates are significantly higher than in Florida.