Psaki: DeSantis ‘fundraising off’ anti-mask mandate

The Biden administration has been vocal in its opposition to policies like DeSantis’, saying governors who aren’t following public health guidelines should “get out of the way” of efforts to control the spread of Covid-19.

In response, DeSantis said he is purposefully standing in the way of what he called “lockdown policies,” blasting the president’s handling of the coronavirus.

On Friday, tensions continued to escalate in the press briefing room. “I will say, as a parent myself of two young children, that I want public health officials to make decisions about how to keep my kids safe, not politicians,” Psaki said in response to a question about DeSantis’ back-to-school stance.

“And not only is Governor DeSantis not abiding by public health decisions,” she added, “he’s fundraising off of this.”

Psaki went on to say that parents in Florida and around the U.S. should be able to know that their children are going to school in safe environments.

“That shouldn’t be too much to ask,” she said.

Asked on Thursday about DeSantis, the president’s response was “Governor who?” DeSantis responded to the quip while speaking in Marianna, Fla. on Friday.

“Well, I guess I’m not surprised that Biden doesn’t remember me,” DeSantis said. “I guess the question is, is what else has he forgotten?”

DeSantis went on to claim the president has forgotten about the Southern border, inflation and demonstrations for freedom in Cuba, and inferred he had acted unconstitutionally in his executive action to extend the evictions moratorium.

The governor also said he is protecting parents’ rights to make choices for their children’s education.

“I’m the governor who protects the jobs and education and businesses in Florida by not letting the federal government lock us down,” he said, highlighting the clash between his leadership and the president’s. “I’m the governor who answers to the people of Florida, not to bureaucrats in Washington.”

Gary Fineout contributed to this report.