DeSantis says COVID-19 travel ban targeting Florida would be political

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a Jan. 19 news conference in the parking lot at the Publix Super Market at Stadium Corners in Viera. His news conference in Port Charlotte on Thursday took on a more confrontational approach.

Gov. Ron DeSantis took a different approach Thursday during the latest of his on-site news conferences related to the coronavirus pandemic.

In recent weeks, he usually has led off with an announcement about the latest expansion of the state’s COVID-19 vaccine program — to more Publix supermarkets or to a senior community or to a house of worship.

On Thursday, though, a fired-up governor took aim at the Biden administration, after The Miami Herald reported that the administration was considering travel restrictions for Americans involving states that were having a high incidence of the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant that is considered more contagious. Those states include Florida.

DeSantis called that possibility absurd, unconstitutional, unwise and unjust, and said it “would purely be a political attack against the people of Florida” that was not based on science, and “a ridiculous, but very damaging, farce.”

“Any attempt to restrict or lock down Florida by the federal government would be an attack on our state, done purely for political purposes,” DeSantis said.