DeSantis slams Biden admin for considering Florida travel ban: ‘attack on our state’
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February 12, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is striking back against reports that the Biden administration is considering a travel ban on the Sunshine State and others ostensibly to contain COVID-19.
The Miami Herald reported that, per one White House official, “there are active conversations about what could help mitigate spread” of the B.1.1.7 variant of COVID-19, which the CDC says is most prevalent in Florida (with California a close second), including travel restrictions. “No decisions have been made,” but “this is a war and we’re at battle with the virus. War is messy and unpredictable, and all options are on the table.”
The official claimed that the administration would work with state and local governments on any theoretical action that might be decided upon, but Fox News reported that DeSantis, seen by many as a likely challenger to President Joe Biden in 2024, did not take kindly to the news.
"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 said Wednesday at a press conference. "It would be unconstitutional. It would be unwise and it would be unjust.”
The recent report that the Biden administration is considering restricting the travel of Floridians is completely absurd, especially when Biden allows illegal aliens to pour across our southern border. We won’t allow Floridians to be unfairly targeted for political purposes. pic.twitter.com/h47AVuof50— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) February 11, 2021
DeSantis added that Florida fares better than 27 other states for cases per capita, and better than 41 other states in fatalities per capita.
“Florida is larger in population than New York, more disproportionately elderly, visited by more potentially infected tourists, and (as of the last census) its population is more concentrated in urban areas,” the Washington Examiner noted. But if the “goal were to minimize coronavirus deaths while also maximizing the openness of one’s state, the numbers bear out DeSantis’s success. In addition to having a much lower death rate, Florida had 25 percent fewer hospitalizations and 25 percent fewer new cases as of the end of January.”
“Meanwhile, the openness has paid dividends in helping Florida’s economy stay afloat amid the crisis,” the Examiner continued. “According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, New York had lost 2.5 times as many jobs as Florida as of December, year-over-year. That’s more than a million jobs, seasonally adjusted, compared to Florida’s 400,000. New York also just lost another 37,000 jobs in December as Florida added more than 15,000, and Florida’s unemployment rate, at 6.1 percent, was 2 points lower than New York’s as of Dec. 31.”
Even so, many who have attacked Florida’s response to the pandemic tend to excuse or promote New York under Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo as a model of proper leadership.
Travel restrictions could have severe repercussions for the Florida economy, which derives significant revenue from tourism. But they could also backfire on Biden by further raising the profile of DeSantis, who is already popular among conservatives for tackling issues such as Common Core, illegal immigration, and online censorship, and giving him another issue to use against Biden in a potential 2024 race.