Speaking on Fox News‘ Hannity Wednesday, DeSantis said: ‘You have all the stuff going on with Afghanistan – obviously all the stuff at the southern border…one of the biggest border disasters in the history of our country, inflation, gas prices, and what does he do.
‘He is obsessed with having the government force kindergartners to wear masks all day in school.
‘In Florida, we believe that that’s the parents’ decision. Joe Biden thinks the federal government should come in and overrule the parents and force these young kids to wear these masks.
‘I mean, you gotta wonder, where are your priorities that you’re so obsessed with this issue and so obsessed with taking away parents’ rights? And you’re letting Afghanistan burn, our border burn, and so many other things in our country fall to pieces.’
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has blasted Joe Biden after the president said he’d consider suing states which banned schools from imposing mask mandates
DeSantis, a lieutenant commander in the US Navy reserves, signed an executive order banning Florida schools from forcing children to wear face masks last month.
Some school districts have vowed to defy him, with DeSantis threatening to withhold funding from them, and even to donate private school vouchers to parents who feel they’ve been ‘COVID-shamed’ because they don’t want their kids to mask up.
President Biden took aim at DeSantis – touted as a 2024 Republican presidential candidate – as he revealed a new pro-mask policy Wednesday.
He said he’d directed his Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to use ‘all of his oversight authorities and legal actions, if appropriate, against governors who are trying to block and intimidate local school officials and educators.’
But DeSantis hit back just hours later. Turning his attention to the worsening Afghanistan crisis, the GOP favorite said: ‘When you’re leaving thousands of Americans to fend for themselves behind enemy lines, that matters.
‘When you’re leaving billions of dollars in military equipment for our enemies to just take, that matters. It’s going to make that area a disaster.’
‘All of our adversaries are taking the measure of Joe Biden, and they see that this is not somebody who’s capable of leading with conviction and leading on the world stage.
‘So they are going to do everything they can, as long as he’s president, to take advantage of that, and I think we’re in for a rocky three-and-a-half years as long as he’s president.’
A worker checks’ kids temperatures at Baldwin Park Elementary School in Orlando last August. DeSantis’s planned executive order would supersede compulsory mask rules recently announced by two Florida school districts, Broward and Gadsden
DeSantis also slammed Biden for being on vacation as the Afghan crisis unfolded earlier this week.
‘He was on vacation. They had to ply him off of vacation to give kind of a half cocked statement on camera, then he said he wasn’t taking questions, and then he goes back on vacation.’
Biden had retreated to Camp David on holiday but returned to the White House on Monday as scenes of humiliating chaos at Kabul airport hit international headlines.
Biden is facing the worst crisis of his presidency after the Taliban re-took Afghanistan just 11 days after US troops withdrew.
Up to 15,000 Americans must now be evacuated, with a further 65,000 Afghans who helped US forces also set to be offered safe passage to the US.
But the Taliban currently controls entry to Kabul’s Hamid Karzai Airport, with many too frightened to try and get past them.
Florida is experiencing a record spike in COVID cases, and recorded more than 56,000 on August 16. The state no longer releases infection data every day, but deaths are also on the rise, to a seven-day average of 138.
DeSantis has urged Floridians to get vaccinated, and says people should continue to wear masks if they want to – but that no-one should be forced to don the face coverings.
Under 12s cannot yet receive COVID vaccines. Pro-maskers say the coverings are needed to keep them safe, but those opposed say children rarely get seriously-ill with the virus.