Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis promised Florida would resist if the Biden administration were to impose travel restrictions on his state.
“I think it would be unconstitutional, it would be unwise and it would be unjust. And if you think about it, restricting the right of Americans to travel freely throughout our country while allowing illegal aliens to pour across the southern border unmolested would be a ridiculous, but very damaging, farce,” DeSantis said in a Thursday news conference.
“We will oppose it 100 percent,” he continued. “It would not be based in science. It would purely be a political attack against the people of Florida.”
The governor ran down a list of COVID-19 statistics in the state, noting the number of cases, deaths and hospitalizations were down significantly.
The recent report that the Biden administration is considering restricting the travel of Floridians is completely absurd, especially when Biden allows illegal aliens to pour across our southern border. We won’t allow Floridians to be unfairly targeted for political purposes. pic.twitter.com/h47AVuof50
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) February 11, 2021
Florida is currently 28th in the number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, DeSantis said.
“Any attempt to restrict or lock down Florida by the federal government would be an attack on our state done purely for political purposes,” he said.
“We will not back down and if anyone tries to harm Floridians or target us, we will respond very swiftly.”
The Miami Herald reported Wednesday that the Biden administration was floating the idea of implementing domestic travel restrictions as a way to combat the spread of COVID-19 variants from the U.K., South Africa and Brazil, cases of which have been identified in a number of states — including Florida and California.
“We’re having conversations about anything that would help mitigate spread,” an unnamed White House official said, referring to cases of the U.K. mutation seen in Florida.
“This is a war and we’re at battle with the virus. War is messy and unpredictable, and all options are on the table,” the official continued.
There were 347 confirmed cases of the U.K. variant in Florida as of Friday afternoon, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
GOP Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida shared DeSantis’ assessment that the Biden administration imposing travel restrictions on the state would be politically motivated.
“I think they’re trying to punish Florida,” Rubio told Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Thursday night.
“I think they’re embarrassed by what Florida’s done. Florida’s embarrassed California. Florida’s embarrassed New York.”
Carlson pointed out that the U.K. virus strain is also spreading in California with 159 confirmed cases thus far, according to the CDC. However, there is no talk of travel restrictions being imposed on California by the federal government.
California is under the leadership of Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Rubio also highlighted the inconsistency of the Biden administration’s reported consideration of domestic travel restrictions and its reinstitution of “catch and release” policies at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“You know tonight if you arrive at the U.S. southern border with a child, you’ll be allowed entry to the country,” Rubio told Carlson.
“You’ll be allowed to stay here pending an asylum trial or hearing that you may never show up for. But if you’re now an American citizen living in Florida that wants to travel, they’re going to put some form of restriction in your way. I mean it’s clearly unconstitutional.”
Some of the highest reported rates of COVID-19 in Texas are coming from counties on or near the border.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Thursday after DeSantis’ news conference that no decisions had been made regarding travel restrictions on Florida or other states.
“We are always considering what steps are necessary to keep the American people safe,” she said, “but we are not currently in the process of — no decisions have been made around additional public health measures that would delay or would change, I should say, domestic travel considerations.”
This article appeared originally on Patriot Project.
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