‘Unwise’ and ‘unjust’: Gov. DeSantis slams reports of potential Florida travel restrictions
Responding Thursday to a report claiming that the Biden administration is considering travel restrictions on Florida, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) slammed the idea of restricting travel between states as “unwise” and “unjust” while charging that undocumented immigrants are allowed “to pour across the southern border unmolested.”
The Biden administration, according to a Miami Herald report, is contemplating “potential travel restrictions that do not target a specific state but focus on how to prevent the spread of variants that appear to be surging in a number of states, including Florida and California.”
Florida has the most confirmed cases in the U.S. of the United Kingdom coronavirus strain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“It would be unconstitutional, it would be unwise, and it would be unjust,” DeSantis said, vowing that the Sunshine State would fight back.
Moreover, the governor claimed that any actions to restrict travel would not be based in science and alleged it would be a “political attack against the people of Florida.”
DeSantis also tried to say that it was not fair to restrict travel with the U.S. while accusing the country of “allowing” undocumented immigrants to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Restricting the right of Americans to travel freely throughout our country while allowing illegal aliens to pour across the southern border unmolested would be a ridiculous but very damaging farce,” DeSantis said.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R), according to The Miami Herald, penned a letter to President Joe Biden saying that travel restrictions on the state would be “reckless and economically harmful.”
“Instituting a travel ban, or any restriction of movement between the states, would be an outrageous, authoritarian move that has no basis in law or science,” Rubio wrote, with the newspaper noting that the White House has not said that it is mulling a travel ban on Florida.
A White House spokesperson Thursday told Orlando-based WESH 2 News that no policy announcements are imminent.
“To be clear, there have been no decisions made around additional public health measures for domestic travel safety. The administration is continuing to discuss recommendations across the travel space, but no specific decisions are under consideration,” the spokesperson said to the NBC News-affiliated station.
Nonetheless, the Biden administration is contemplating a rule that would mandate negative COVID-19 test results for flying domestically, according to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.
In a Sunday interview with “Axios on HBO,” the former South Bend, Indiana mayor and dark horse 2020 presidential candidate noted the potential testing mandates for U.S. flyers.
“There’s an active conversation with the CDC right now,” Buttigieg told Axios. “What I can tell you is, it’s going to be guided by data, by science, by medicine, and by the input of the people who are actually going to have to carry this out.”
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.