DeSantis Sends Letter Directly to Biden, Comes Up with Clever Loophole to Thwart President's 'Absurd' Vaccine Rule
When it comes to landing the world’s No. 1 tennis star, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis isn’t playing around.
In a letter to President Joe Biden on Tuesday, the conservative Republican and potential presidential contender slammed the president’s incoherent policies regarding COVID-19 vaccination policies for foreigners entering the United States.
He also suggested a workaround that would allow Serbian tennis great Novak Djokovic to enter the country to play in a tournament this month in Miami.
And it’s a workaround that highlights how outrageous the Biden policies are.
The problem DeSantis wrote about is obvious:
The same Biden administration that has allowed millions of illegal immigrants to cross the southern border without consideration for whether they’ve received a coronavirus vaccination still maintains rules forbidding travelers from other countries who have not been vaccinated — if they arrive by air.
One of the most famous names to reject the vaccination is Djokovic, who contracted and recovered from COVID-19 in December 2021.
The Biden administration’s policy already forced Djokovic to withdraw from potential competition in the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, which begins Wednesday and concludes March 19, according to The Associated Press.
Now, DeSantis wants to get him into the United States in time for the beginning of the Miami Open, which begins March 19.
“It has been reported that Novak Djokovic has formally applied and been denied permission from your administration to enter the United States so that he may compete at the upcoming Miami Open tennis tournament,” DeSantis wrote. “This denial is unfair, unscientific and unacceptable. I urge you to reconsider.
“It’s time to put pandemic politics aside and give the American people what they want — let him play.”
And DeSantis wants to use the Biden administration’s own words to make it happen — by bringing Djokovic into the Sunshine State by boat.
.@GovRonDeSantis: “The time has come to give up the fiction that COVID vaccines remain a necessary tool to promote public health.” pic.twitter.com/4JMdNKR1sv
— Jennifer Cabrera (@jhaskinscabrera) March 7, 2023
“Your October 25, 2021, Proclamation ‘governs the entry into the United States of noncitizen nonimmigrants … traveling to the United States [bold] by air[unbold],’ (emphasis added),” DeSantis stated in a footnote in his letter.
“Beginning in January 2022 your Department of Homeland Security announced similar restrictions for non-U.S. individuals seeking to enter the United States via land ports of entry and ferry terminals at the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders. But your administration does not appear to have issued analogous restrictions for non-U.S. individuals seeking to enter our country by boat.”
That was the rationale DeSantis used, but there was a reason it was a footnote.
The real thrust of the letter was blasting Biden’s inane vaccination restrictions that remain in place long after the president himself publicly declared the COVID-19 pandemic to be “over” — and the transparent hypocrisy of an administration that’s allowed illegal immigrants into the country by the millions to be keeping out travelers arriving by other means — travelers who could pay their own way.
“… [E]ven as you enacted the Proclamation on air travel that remains in force to this day, your administration pointedly allowed thousands of unvaccinated immigrants to enter our country through the southern border. In sum, the current ‘travel ban’ to Mr. Djokovic — and presumably millions of other potential unvaccinated foreign visitors — seems completely ungrounded in logic, common sense, or genuine concern for the health and welfare of the American people.”
It’s worth pointing out here that after being deported from Australia and kept out of the Australian Open last year over his refusal to be vaccinated, the still-unvaccinated Djokovic was allowed into the country this year. He not only won the Australian Open — his presence did not spark a deadline wave of coronavirus decimating the Land Down Under’s population. It’s almost like the pandemic is “over.”
DeSantis’ description of Biden’s policy as “ungrounded in logic, common sense, or genuine concern” for Americans sums it up pretty well, but the real beauty of DeSantis’ letter is the proposal to bring in Djokovic by boat. It basically demands a response that would force the administration to explain how, exactly, it is that it makes a difference — if the science of virology is really the question — whether an unvaccinated human being entering the country comes as a well-heeled passenger in a private jet landing in Miami or in a destitute horde of “asylum seekers” in Brownsville, Texas.
One the Biden administration’s policy forbids, the other is welcomed with open arms (and the open wallets of American taxpayers).
“The only thing keeping Mr. Djokovic from playing in this tournament is your administration’s continued enforcement of a misguided, unscientific and out-of-date COVID-19 vaccination requirement for foreign guests seeking to visit our great country,” DeSantis wrote. “American tennis legend John McEnroe recently termed this restriction ‘absurd.’ He was quite right to say so.”
DeSantis then described Florida’s approach to the pandemic and the state’s rejection of vaccination requirements, noted that the U.S. is one of only a “handful” of countries that maintain a vaccine requirement for entry (again, while letting a mass of illegal immigrants equivalent to entire cities cross the border without even a glance), and reminded Biden of his own declaration that the pandemic is “over.”
Just before closing, DeSantis delivered the final blow: “The time has come to give up the fiction that COVID vaccines remain a necessary tool to promote public health.”
Giving up that fiction would mean giving up an element of power the government has taken as a result of the pandemic, so it’s not likely that’s going to be happening as long as there’s a Democrat in the White House.
But the letter sets out in stark terms how bizarre the Biden policies actually are.
Now, the ball is in Biden’s court to come up with a response.
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