Biden shared his disapproval of Florida's response to the coronavirus pandemic during a speech Tuesday, lamenting that "just two states, Florida and Texas, account for one-third of all new COVID-19 cases in the entire country."
"I say to these governors: Please help. If you aren't going to help, at least get out of the way," Biden said.
"Joe Biden suggests that if you don't do lockdown policies, you should 'get out of the way.' Let me tell you this, if you're coming after the rights of parents in Florida, I'm standing in your way," DeSantis replied the next day. "If you're trying to deny kids a proper in-person education, I'm going to stand in your way."
"If you're trying to lock people down, I'm standing in your way."
"Why don't you do your job and get your border secure. And until you do that, I don't want to hear lip about COVID from you," the Florida governor said. "Joe Biden has taken to himself to try to single out Florida over COVID. This is a guy who ran for President saying he was going to 'shut down the virus.' And what has he done? He has imported more virus from around the world by having a wide-open Southern border."
"His solution is he wants to have the government force Kindergartners to wear masks in school," he said. "Well, I can tell you in Florida the parents are going to be the ones in charge of that decision."
The White House responded that afternoon:
23% of new COVID hospitalizations in the U.S are in Florida, and their hospitals are being overwhelmed again.— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) August 4, 2021
We are doing everything we can to help the people of FL, and they're stepping up by getting vaccinated – we hope @GovRonDeSantis joins us in this fight. https://t.co/53y97ngQ4E