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The governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, took a shot at White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki after she criticized his state on the podium for the pace with which school covid aid was being distributed and went after him over a covid treatment issue.
‘The White House press secretary stands in front of that podium and lies through her teeth every single day, and usually about the state of Florida,’ DeSantis lashed out during Wednesday’s press conference.
His remarks came after Psaki had twice attacked him, days after Trump criticized ‘gutless’ politicians who refuse to disclose whether they have had booster shots which many believe included DeSantis. Commentators speculated that there may be a high-stakes feud between the two men. Afterward, Trump called reports of tension ‘fake news.’
At her press briefing last Friday, Psaki mentioned Florida after Biden talked up federal funds for school security improvements to counter COVID-19. Although the president noted that not every state has ‘used it as well as it should be used.’
She commended DeKalb County, Georgia, and Desert Sands, California, whose efforts were in contrast with those in Florida.
‘So, in DeKalb County, in Georgia; and Desert Sands, in California — they’re investing in safety measures like ventilation’ for schools, she said.
Then, in a dig at DeSantis, she quipped on Florida ‘where they have done little to — to distribute money to — little to no steps to distribute money to state — across the state and to school districts.’
Psaki went on: ‘Now, part of it is you have to write a plan for how you’re going to keep schools open to get the third tranche of money, and some have been delayed in that. But, right now, that’s an example of a state that could do more.’
Psaki targeted DeSantis after he held a press conference criticizing the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to limit the use of monoclonal antibodies after the FDA had said they weren’t effective against the omicron variant.
The Biden Administration’s decision to revoke access to monoclonal antibodies was made with complete and utter disregard for the thousands of sick Floridians who were left scrambling to find an alternative treatment.
These Floridians should be able to access these treatments. pic.twitter.com/rYWfhujGqA
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) January 26, 2022
‘Well, let’s just take a step back here just to realize how crazy this is,’ Psaki said from the WH press briefing room on Tuesday. ‘These treatments — the ones that they are fighting over, that the governor’s fighting over — do not work against Omicron, and they have side effects. That is what the scientists are saying.’
Seriously, what is happening here?!?!
— The JRE Companion (@TheJRECompanion) January 27, 2022
In response to the change in emergency authorizations, DeSantis called the change an ‘indefensible edict,’ noting: ‘Without a shred of clinical data to support this action, Biden has forced trained medical professionals to choose between treating their patients or breaking the law.’
As far as education funding is concerned, the U.S. Department of Education wrote to Florida’s state education commissioner to ask why plans for spending $7 million on state schools had not been submitted. They missed a deadline for about one-third of the funds.
Earlier this month, the state’s plan for the final installment of funds was approved.
‘The state plans that have been submitted to the Department lay the groundwork for the ways in which an unprecedented infusion of federal resources will be used to address the urgent needs of America’s children and build back better,’ Miguel Cardona, the Education Secretary, said at the time.
Dr. Joseph Ladapo, DeSantis’ state surgeon general nominee, advanced through the nomination hearing following his refusal to answer Democrat questions about vaccine efficacy.
Despite being vaccinated, DeSantis refused to answer a media question about whether he received a booster shot.
In the history of Florida, DeSantis is probably the most powerful governor ever.
During Florida’s new legislative session, he pushed for even more control over legislators and announced his top priorities, such as cracking down on election crimes, spending $8 million on transporting “unauthorized aliens” out of state, and taking action against “wokeness” in schools.
As a result of his victories in November in Tallahassee, DeSantis pushed lawmakers to approve bans on vaccination mandates, which solidified his reputation in the state and nationally as one of President Joe Biden’s most fierce opponents.
In the last year of his first term, DeSantis has been consolidating power: Democrats are powerless to stop him since they are in the minority. Florida’s Republican lawmakers are enthusiastically implementing his wishes or are unwilling to oppose them.
“He’s become the 1,100-pound gorilla in state government,” remarked Tom Lee, a Republican who served as Senate president for 18 years and dealt with four different governors. DeSantis appointed Lee’s wife, Laurel Lee, as Secretary of State. “Gov. DeSantis is extremely popular relative to most of his predecessors. With that goes a tremendous amount of power.”
According to a report, a Republican lawmaker who requested anonymity said of DeSantis: “They are not going to embarrass Ron DeSantis. Ron DeSantis is essentially the speaker of the House, the president of the Senate and the chief justice of the Supreme Court right now.”