Florida’s Governor struck a confrontational tone with the Joe Biden White House Friday, responding to the President’s speech Thursday night with a hard no on “lockdown” restrictions.
Gov. Ron DeSantis, addressing media in Brevard County Friday afternoon, said “lockdown ain’t happening,” offering a curt dismissal of the prospect of restrictions being imposed on the state in virus caution.
President Biden hopes for a return to normalcy by July 4, but said the country “may have to reinstate restrictions” if sufficient progress in fighting the virus isn’t made. Biden didn’t use the word “lockdown”
DeSantis, meanwhile, frames that as an “insane” proposal.
“Biden last night said they may have to impose more lockdown-type policies in the future. I can tell ya: that ain’t happening in Florida. We are not going to let him lockdown Florida,” DeSantis said.
“They talked about restricting travel of Floridians. That’s totally unacceptable. He said that from the beginning,” DeSantis added.
But he wasn’t done.
“To even contemplate doing any kind of lockdown honestly is insane. And so that’s not going to happen in the state of Florida. We like the fact that people are able to work here. We like the fact that we’ve been able to save thousands and thousands of businesses and livelihoods. And we love the fact that parents have the right to send their kids to school in person,” DeSantis said.
“We’re going to continue doing what works, but under no circumstances would we entertain doing anything of the sort,” DeSantis said.
The President expressed a hope that America could “mark independence” from COVID-19 by July 4. DeSantis used that as a jumping off point also.
“You can’t tell people they have to wear a mask for the rest of their life. You have to tell them to get the vaccine and get back to normal. Some of the messaging has been so destructive to get people to do it. Why would they want to do it if there’s no benefit to them?”
“They say ‘oh you may be able to have a couple family members over for July 4.’ We’ve been doing that for over a year in Florida. I don’t understand some of this messaging,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis made similar points in Port Orange at a later stop Friday.
“There’s no lockdowns in Florida, OK,” the Governor said to cheers.
“There’s some people who do not want this to stop, and I don’t understand. They said it was 15 days to stop the spread, and we’re on day 358 now,” he added.
The Governor, who has referred to President Biden as a “lockdowner,” continues to present himself as a contrast to more restrictionist leaders of “lockdown states.”
He has made a habit of one-sided arguments with the Biden White House about various considerations of its strategy, including the aforementioned so-called “travel ban” that DeSantis deemed unconstitutional. The Biden administration said nothing of the sort was actually planned.