PORT ORANGE, Fla. — "There's no lockdowns in Florida," Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at two news conferences Friday.
The governor said this in response to what he said President Joe Biden said in his speech Thursday evening.
"You know I was watching this speech last night about saying, 'oh, well, we may have to impose lockdown restrictions again,' Biden said that. Let me just tell you, there's no lockdowns in Florida, okay," DeSantis said.
"We're not going to let anyone close schools, we're not going to let anyone take your jobs, we're not going to let anyone close your businesses," he continued.
DeSantis has been very vocal against what he calls "lockdown" states and has said he'll only travel to "free" states.
It should be noted that in a transcript of the president's speech Thursday, there was no direct mention of locking down states again. However, President Biden did caution against letting "our guard down" as the country continues to work toward beating the virus and making vaccinations available to everyone in America. And he cautioned scientists have warned "things may get worse again" with new COVID-19 variants spreading.
In his news conference Friday in Port Orange, the governor was also critical of the federal government's current public health message.
"If you want people to get the vaccine, then you tell them 'you get the vaccine and then you live your life,'" DeSantis said.
"I think it's a little bit odd when you say, 'get the vaccine, it's important,' but then nothing changes when you get the vaccine," the governor continued. "No, we think the vaccine is good, and we think the whole reason to get the vaccine is to be able to protect yourself but then to be able to not have to worry like you've had to worry so often."
This week the CDC has released some new guidance for people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, saying they can gather indoors without a mask or social distancing, provided they are with other people who are vaccinated, too. And, President Biden promised to have new, clearer guidance released soon for people who have been vaccinated.
DeSantis has also been critical of the amount of COVID-19 relief funding Florida is getting from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, calling the government's treatment "unfair."
The Sunshine State is slated to get $17.6 billion from the plan, but the governor says that's about $2 billion less than what the state should be getting if the government was allocating funds based on population.
Instead, DeSantis says the government is favoring "lockdown states" such as New York and New Jersey which he says not only have more restrictions but also have higher mortality rates and higher unemployment rates.
When it comes to vaccines, the governor says Florida is in a position to offer vaccines to all adults across the state sometime in April, which is ahead of President Biden's date of May 1 for all adults to be eligible for a vaccine shot.
"Certainly before May 1, we'll be able to open it up to all adults," Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said of the COVID-19 vaccination in the state during a news conference in Volusia County.
You can watch DeSantis' full news conference here:
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