President Joe Biden laughed off a question about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ handling of the coronavirus pandemic during a press conference on Thursday.
When asked by NBC White House correspondent Kelly O’Donnell if he had a comment on DeSantis’ recent remarks that Biden has “imported more virus” into the country, Biden glibly replied, “Governor who? That’s my response.”
DeSantis had a lot to say about Biden this week. He attacked the president during a speech on Wednesday and said Biden “is a guy who ran for president saying he was 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.”
There is no evidence to support that an influx of people across any border in the U.S. is responsible for rising COVID-19 cases. Ron DeSantis continued to go after Biden and asked, “So why don’t you do your job? Why don’t you get this border secure, and until you do that, I don’t want to hear a blip about COVID from you. Thank you.”
DeSantis also said he would do everything he could to keep Florida at its status quo. “Let me tell you this: If you’re coming after the rights of parents in Florida, I’m standing in your way. I’m not going to let you get away with it,” DeSantis added, presumably talking to Biden’s administration.
Florida remains the nation’s hotspot as cases continue to surge — as White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki noted on Twitter on Wednesday, “23% of new COVID hospitalizations in the U.S are in Florida, and their hospitals are being overwhelmed again.”
Florida also currently leads the nation in another morbid statistic: the number of children hospitalized for COVID.
White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zeints told ABC News on Thursday that Florida is one of seven states the government has identified with the lowest vaccination rates and “account for about half of new cases and hospitalizations in the past week, despite making up less than a quarter of the U.S. population.”
Ron DeSantis has vocally opposed nearly all federal recommendations for containing the spread of the coronavirus, from masks to vaccinations. He said during his speech that he opposed the “biomedical security state” and said, “Florida, we’re a free state. People are going to be free to choose and make their own decisions about themselves, about their families,” even if that means putting others at risk by refusing to get the coronavirus vaccine.