White House: Trying to fight COVID-19, not FL Gov. Ron DeSantis

(WASHINGTON) — The Biden White House is continuing to push back against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

ABC News reported earlier this week that the state of Florida had requested 300 ventilators from the federal government to help handle the recent increase in COVID-19 related hospitalizations in the state. DeSantis said Tuesday, though, that he was unaware of that request.

 On Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki responded to DeSantis, saying that “as a policy, we don’t send ventilators to states without their interest in receiving the ventilators.”

“I think the most important question here is why would you oppose receiving ventiltators when you clearly need those in your state, given the percentage of hospitalizations that are occuring in Florida,” she added. When asked whether it was possible that DeSantis could have been unaware of the request, she suggested the question was better posed to DeSantis and his office.

The pushback, Psaki said, wasn’t a personal attack on DeSantis.

“Our war is not on [him]. It’s on the virus, which we’re trying to kneecap, and he does not seem to want to participate in the effort to kneecap the virus.”

DeSantis has also instituted a statewide ban on mask requirements. Earlier this week, he suggested that the state Board of Education could withhold pay from school leaders who implement mask mandates for students.

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