Governor Ron DeSantis’s office fired back after White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki attacked Florida’s handling of the pandemic.
Psaki, at a press briefing on Monday, asserted that Florida had been choosing “politics” over the guidance of health officials in refusing to issue vaccine or mask mandates.
“As you touched on there, 20 percent of the cases we’re seeing are in Florida,” Psaki claimed.
“There are steps and precautions that can be taken, including encouraging people to get vaccinated, encouraging people to wear masks, including allowing schools to mandate masks and allowing kids to wear masks, which is not the current state of play in Florida,” she continued.
Psaki concluded her point by saying, “So, you know, at a certain point, leaders are going to have to choose whether they’re going to follow public health guidelines or they’re going to follow politics, and we certainly encourage all governors to follow the public health guidelines.”
DeSantis’s office fired back, noting that masking policy in Florida does, in fact, allow kids to wear masks in schools because, rather than mandating it, they allow parents to make the decision.
Furthermore, DeSantis has encouraged Floridians to get the vaccine.
The prospective 2024 presidential candidate touted the effectiveness of the jab, noting that “over 95%” of people being hospitalized for COVID currently “are either not fully vaccinated or not vaccinated at all.”
“And so these vaccines are saving lives, they are reducing mortality,” he explained.
Christina Pushaw, Press Secretary for DeSantis, pointed the finger squarely back at Psaki for politicizing the pandemic response.
“By dismissively ignoring Governor DeSantis’ efforts to protect vulnerable Floridians, Psaki is the one playing politics with the pandemic,” she told the Daily Wire.
What Governor DeSantis has done is reject lockdowns and government-enforced mandates.
“We will never do any of these lockdowns again, and I hear people say they’ll shut down the country, and honestly I cringe,” he announced last summer.
And he has since held firm in that position, allowing the freedom of Floridians to choose how they navigate the pandemic instead.
He affirmed that position during a speech to the American Legislative Exchange Council’s annual meeting in Utah last week.
“I think it’s very important that we say unequivocally no to lockdowns, no to school closures, no to restrictions, and no to mandates,” DeSantis insisted.
He added that no American, regardless of which state they reside in, should be “consigned to live in a Faucian dystopia in which we’re governed by the whims of bureaucratic authorities who care little for our freedom, little for our aspirations and little for our happiness.”
Pushaw would also suggest that the White House focus on their own failed policies in dealing with the pandemic and promoting confusion about masks and vaccines.
“The White House should be more concerned about the flip-flopping of the CDC, which is inadvertently promoting vaccine hesitancy with their confusing, contradictory public communications,” Pushaw said.
She added, “Stating that vaccinated people should wear masks and socially distance is implying that the vaccines do not change anything, which is the wrong message for our federal government to be promoting.”
“The rule is now simple: get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do,” Biden tweeted just a couple of months ago. “The choice is yours.”
Now the message is ‘you’re going to wear a mask whether or not you got the vaccination.’
“Government mandates do not work to stop COVID-19,” Pushaw added. “The empirical evidence supports [DeSantis’s] position on this.”
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