WASHINGTON – “Governor who?”
That response from President Joe Biden to a question Thursday afternoon about Ron DeSantis was the latest in a back and forth war of words between the Commander in Chief and Florida’s governor.
South Florida lawmakers also called out DeSantis’ leadership Thursday, saying in a virtual news conference that he needs to do more to combat the surge of COVID-19 cases in the state.
“It’s these chest-beating, extremist-signaling decisions that from Day 1 have marked DeSantis’ COVID non-leadership and propelled Florida into this horrible spot,” U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schutz, D-FL, said.
The congresswoman’s remarks come a day after the Republican governor fired back at President Biden, who on Tuesday told him to “get out of the way for people who are trying to do the right thing.”
“If you are coming after the rights of parents in Florida, I am standing in your way,” DeSantis responded, defending his decision to block school districts from instituting mask mandates.
DeSantis continued to say of Biden: “Why don’t you do your job? Why don’t you get this border secure? And until you do this, I don’t want to hear a blip about COVID from you.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded to the governor’s Wednesday words during Thursday’s briefing.
“Frankly, our view is this is too serious, deadly serious to be doing partisan name-calling,” Psaki said.
She said the Biden administration is focused on the facts as Florida faces a summer surge of coronavirus infections and a record number of hospitalizations.
“25% of hospitalizations in the country are in Florida,” Psaki said. “It is also a fact that the governor has taken steps to counter to public health recommendations.”
Evening report from Washington