During a press briefing on Monday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) openly called out Jen Psaki, the White House Press Secretary for the Biden administration, namely for her attacks upon how DeSantis has handled the COVID pandemic.
Psaki’s commentary emerged after various reports surfacing about surging COVID cases across the state of Florida, and during her own press briefing, she singled Florida out in particular, observing that the White House administration stands ready and willing to help “Florida or any other part of the country” with regards to the COVID pandemic. Psaki also commented that Florida appeared to be following politics rather than public health guidelines.
Psaki swipes at FL Governor Ron DeSantis for "not allowing schools to mandate masks and allowing kids to wear masks."
"At a certain point, leaders are going to have to choose whether they're going to follow public health guidelines or whether they're going to follow politics." pic.twitter.com/UOz48yLLru
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) August 2, 2021
For instance, Psaki emphasized the various “precautions” and “steps” that can be taken to help minimize the spread of the virus, which include “encouraging people to wear masks” as well as “encouraging people to get vaccinated.” In addition, Psaki also emphasized the importance of “allowing schools to mandate masks,” as well as “allowing kids to wear masks,” while adding that these allowances do not constitute “the current state of play in Florida.”
Psaki was speaking in reference to an executive order that DeSantis signed on Friday, which would prohibit mandated masks in public schools across Florida.
However, Psaki’s remarks about the new mask policy in Florida were inaccurate, given that DeSantis did not ban masks; instead, he stated that wearing masks was an optional endeavor that students could take during school hours, which means that optional masks were never banned.
However, DeSantis will not entertain mandatory masks for all students, and this position was made especially clear when his office replied to Psaki’s national commentary.
Noting that Psaki and the Biden administration would be the ones “playing politics with the pandemic,” DeSantis called out the government for deliberately ignoring the actions that were taken to help protect the elderly and vulnerable residents of the state.
Christina Pushaw, the press secretary for Ron DeSantis, observed that the Biden administration should focus much more on the perpetual “flip-flopping of the CDC,” which in turn has been “promoting vaccine hesitancy,” especially due to the agency’s repeatedly “confusing, contradictory public communications.”
In addition, calling for vaccinated people to “wear masks and socially distance is implying that the vaccines do not change anything,” Pushaw continued, adding that this contradictory information “is the wrong message for our federal government to be promoting.”