Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a longtime ally of former President Donald Trump, took aim at the administration of Joe Biden on Thursday in the wake of a report that it was considering enacting domestic travel restrictions. As relayed by Politico‘s Gary Fineout, DeSantis indicated that he would strongly oppose any action that would block people from traveling to his state.
The Republican governor shared his belief that policies prohibiting the travel of Americans to Florida would constitute a political attack. He also called the idea that the administration would consider such a course of action “absurd.”
“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 at a Port Charlotte press conference. “I think it would be unconstitutional, it would be unwise and it would be unjust.”
DeSantis’ remarks came following a report from the Miami Herald which indicated that the administration had been weighing possible restrictions to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
“We’re having conversations about anything that would help mitigate spread,” a White House official told the Herald.
Per the report, the United Kingdom variant of the novel coronavirus — known as B.1.1.7 — has been surging in Florida, where more than a third of all identified variant cases in the U.S. have reportedly been found. According to the official, that development has been the motivating factor in conversations.
Nevertheless, DeSantis questioned the need to restrict travel, citing what he considers to be a middling status as related to statewide COVID-19 fatalities.
Per the Tampa Bay Times, Florida reported 8,525 new coronavirus cases and 180 deaths on Thursday. Over the course of the pandemic, it has seen more than 1.8 million infections and nearly 29,000 deaths. The latter number currently ranks in the top four nationwide.
As reported by The Inquisitr in December, DeSantis was accused of attempting to suppress negative information about the state’s COVID-19 pandemic in the weeks leading up to the general election.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki commented on the possibility of travel restrictions following DeSantis’ press conference but stopped short of corroborating reports that stated something was in the works.
“We are always considering what steps are necessary to keep the American people safe, 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,” she said.