Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and President Joe Biden began a war of words after the president criticized the state of Florida’s handling of COVID-19. Today, DeSantis hammered back at the President, who said he did not know who DeSantis was, in a hilarious clip.
Here’s how it started…
Earlier this week, Biden said, “Some governors aren’t willing to do the right thing to beat this pandemic … Florida and Texas account for one-third of all new COVID-19 cases in the entire country. Just two states. Look, we need leadership from everyone. I say to these governors, please help. If you’re not going to help, at least get out of the way of people who are trying to do the right thing.”
The president specifically called out Republican governors, saying, “I believe the results of their decisions are not good for their constituents, and it’s clear to me and to most medical experts that the decisions being made like not allowing mask mandates in school are bad health policy.”
On Wednesday, DeSantis responded to the president’s remarks, saying, “If you’re coming after the rights of parents in Florida, I’m standing in your way. If you’re trying to deny kids a proper in-person education, I’m gonna stand in your way and stand up for the kids in Florida. If you’re trying to restrict people and impose mandates and ruin their jobs and livelihood, if you are trying to lock people down, I am standing in your way. I am standing for the people of Florida.”
DeSantis recently passed legislation banning mask mandates in schools. Since 2020, Florida has led states’ efforts to end COVID-19 policies and re-open the economy. Last week, the state reported over 21,000 new positive COVID-19 infections, the highest single-day increase in infections since the beginning of the pandemic, according to statistics from the CDC.
However, Governor DeSantis has maintained an anti-lockdown stance, allowing Floridians to make individual health decisions, such as whether or not to wear a mask and vaccinate.
After DeSantis’ response, a reporter asked Biden why he doesn’t call the governor. The president said, “To say happy birthday? What? He knows the message. We had a little discussion when I was down there. He knows the message. He’s decided.”
Biden also previously cracked a ‘gaffe’ — more likely an episode of memory loss — when he appeared to not remember who Ron DeSantis is. DeSantis responded to a question about this from reporters Friday with a hilarious response.