Florida GOP slams potential domestic travel restrictions as ‘a political attack’ from the Biden administration

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The Biden administration’s reported interest in instituting travel restrictions on one of the best performing states in the country vis-a-vis the ongoing coronavirus pandemic isn’t sitting well with that state’s lawmakers.

On Friday, nine Florida lawmakers led by Rep. Byron Donalds sent a public letter to President Joe Biden excoriating the president for this potential “abuse of power” against American citizens and contrasting it with his sycophantic defense of China.


“Nearly one year ago, while you were running for the Democratic presidential nomination, you called the travel ban from China, the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, both ‘xenophobic’ and ‘fear-mongering,'” the lawmakers wrote.

“Now, your Administration is reportedly considering a plan that demonstrates an egregious abuse of power in restricting Americans from moving between states — a move that has no standing in science nor law.”

As noted in a tweet by Florida Rep. Carlos A. Gimenez, Florida ranks 28th in coronavirus cases, 30th in coronavirus hospitalizations and 42nd in coronavirus fatalities.

Despite Florida being ahead of so many states, it’s remained a target of Democrats and their media allies because of its refusal to adopt draconian lockdown measures.

The going theory on the left — one rooted in nothing but partisan emotion and certainly not facts — is that because Gov. Ron DeSantis refused to force job-killing restrictions on his constituents, he’s therefore some sort of murderer.

Meanwhile, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo — whose administration funneled coronavirus patients into nursing homes and then purposefully lied about it — is considered some sort of hero and saint.

“In Florida, we have been able to lessen the financial blow to our small and large businesses by giving Floridians the freedom to go about their daily lives safely and responsibly,” the lawmakers’ letter to Biden continues.

“Our state is known for its pristine beaches, robust entertainment industry, and relaxed lifestyle that attracts millions of seasonal residents and tourists. Many across our country continue to appreciate Florida’s response to the pandemic juxtaposed to the authoritarian measures in many blue states that have shown little to no success in controlling the virus,” they added.

And this, incidentally, is why the left reflexively hates the state — and why, or so some presume, the Biden administration is reportedly interested in targeting it.

Days earlier on Wednesday, the Miami Herald reported that the administration is “considering whether to impose domestic travel restrictions, including on Florida, fearful that coronavirus mutations are threatening to reverse hard-fought progress on the pandemic.”

“Outbreaks of the new variants — including a highly contagious one first identified in the United Kingdom, as well as others from South Africa and Brazil that scientists worry can evade existing vaccines — have lent urgency to a review of potential travel restrictions within the United States,” the outlet reported.

In a statement, a White House official spoke of the need to “mitigate the spread here” with the same strategies used “with South Africa” and “with Brazil.”

However, the Herald also admitted that the White House had not confirmed that it was indeed seeking a Florida travel ban.

Florida’s lawmakers have obviously concluded that the threat of a travel ban is real. So has the governor, who on Thursday described the potential ban as “unconstitutional,” “unwise” and “unjust.”

“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. It would not be based in science. It would purely be a political attack against the people of Florida,” he said.

Listen:

It would also be contrary to Florida’s real need, which the Florida lawmakers who wrote to Biden pointed out is a need for more vaccines.

“More critical than instituting unprecedented restrictions on overstate travel, millions of Floridians, especially seniors, desperately need your Administration to focus its energy on increasing access to the vaccine,” they wrote.

DeSantis has been making the same point for several weeks now. In late January, he got into a tiff with White House press secretary Jen Psaki after she falsely complained that his administration wasn’t vaccinating Floridians fast enough.

The governor pushed back by noting that the issue wasn’t a lack of speed but a lack of supply.

“I think a lot of Democrat governors agree with me: Just get more supply of the vaccine, because we were promised initially we were going to get more. I can get it to seniors if we can just get more in shipments,” he said at the time.

And apparently, the administration’s response was to start mulling a travel ban on Florida, as if that’ll do anything to help the situation. #Science.

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Vivek Saxena

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