Florida gov. Ron DeSantis spoke about his state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday.
“We are stronger as a state and much happier as a people because of this leadership,” DeSantis said. “Florida has lower per capita Covid mortality than the national average and lower than 27 other states. Our unemployment rate is lower than the national average, even though tourism isn’t fully back, and our budget is in great shape.”
“Florida got it right and the lockdown states got it wrong,” DeSantis said to the cheering crowd.
At the end of September, DeSantis moved all of the state into Phase 3 of re-opening, which eliminated COVID-related business closures and capacity limitations.
His order made county-wide mask mandates unenforceable, by eliminating fines associated with them.
In addition, DeSantis issued an order which barred local governments from adopting and enforcing restrictions they saw fit.
Earlier this month, DeSantis slammed the idea of restricting travel to Florida after the Biden administration contemplated domestic travel restrictions to “to prevent the spread of variants that appear to be surging in a number of states.”
“It would be unconstitutional, it would be unwise and it would be unjust,” DeSantis said, vowing that Florida would fight back against any travel restrictions.
More than 1.8 million people have been infected with the coronavirus in Florida and more than 30,000 have died. However, those numbers represent better per capita figures than the United States as a whole.
“Under the leadership of Gov. DeSantis, Florida is a free state where data and science prevail, and residents’ individual liberties are respected and protected. Thanks to the governor’s ongoing commitment during the COVID-19 public health emergency to protect our most vulnerable while safeguarding the right to earn a living and the right to operate a business, the governor has been able to lift Floridians up instead of locking our state down,” DeSantis’s office said in a statement to the Miami Herald.
“While every death resulting from COVID-19 is a tragedy, the data demonstrates that Gov. DeSantis’ leadership prevented the deaths of potentially thousands in our state.”
Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy
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Biden spends $1.65 trillion taxpayer dollars while vacationing in St. Croix
While vacationing in the island of St. Croix for the holidays, President Joe Biden on Thursday signed into law the massive $1.65 omnibus spending package.
The whopping 4,155 pages was supported by only nine House Republicans and 13 Senate Republicans. Majority of criticism from the GOP includes concerns that the bill was rushed and crammed with wasteful spending by a lame-duck Democratic-dominated Congress. The recourse will punish American families by adding to the national debt and exacerbate inflation.
“Today, I signed the bipartisan omnibus bill, ending a year of historic progress. It’ll invest in medical research, safety, veteran health care, disaster recovery, VAWA funding — and gets crucial assistance to Ukraine,” Biden tweeted. “Looking forward to more in 2023.”
Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell “praised the bill on the grounds that it represents a real decrease in discretionary spending. He presented it as a positive that nondefense spending jumped by only 5.5 percent, from $730 billion to $772.5 billion, amid an inflation rate of 7.1 percent” writes National Review.
“The bipartisan government-funding bill that Senators Shelby and Leahy have finished negotiating does exactly the opposite of what the Biden administration first proposed,” he said. “This bill provides a substantial real-dollar increase to the defense baseline . . . and a substantial real-dollar cut to the non-defense, non-veterans baseline,” McConnell insisted as negotiations were wrapping up.
House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, however, stated his strong disapproval of the bill before it even advanced. Affirming a letter from 13 House Republicans, McCarthy demanded the bill is reckless, irresponsible, and a “purposeful refusal to secure and defend our borders.”
For example, it failed to incorporate protections for Title 42, the pandemic policy that allows illegal immigrants to be expelled on a public-health basis, which currently hangs in the balance at the Supreme Court.
National Review adds, “The funding in the bill, which averted a federal government shutdown before the new year, includes an allocation of $45 billion in defense assistance to Ukraine. Some Republican priorities, such as Electoral Count Act reform and a bigger military budget, were nested in with Democratic appropriations, such as increased funding for Medicaid and food stamps.”
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