Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., criticized the Biden administration’s decision to deny Florida’s request for federal aid in a Friday press conference.
At his press conference in Fort Myers, DeSantis said, “Since Biden has been president, it seems like whatever they can do to thumb their nose at Florida. You know they try to do it.”
DeSantis argued that disaster relief funds should not be overshadowed by politics, saying, “These things should be above politics when people have needs like this.”
“I think it’s a mistake to use politics with this,” DeSantis explained, “I think you gotta help people when they need it.”
After tornadoes devastated Charlotte and Lee counties in January, the state of Florida requested Individual Assistance for Florida citizens who were displaced by tornadoes. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) denied Florida’s request for aid on Tuesday.
According to FEMA’s letter to the state, the federal government has determined that, “the damage from this event was not of such severity and magnitude as to be beyond the capabilities of the state, affected local governments, and volunteer agencies. Accordingly we have determined that supplemental federal assistance is not necessary.”
DeSantis and the state of Florida will appeal FEMA’s decision due to the considerable damage that was caused by the tornadoes, according to a Fort Myers News-Press. The government’s denial can be appealed in the next 30 days.
DeSantis explained in his press conference, “We want to maximize the amount of support that we can get.” He added, “That’s why we’re appealing the decision.”
The governor also criticized the Biden administration’s decision to ban Florida’s monoclonal antibody treatment. “They cut our monoclonal antibody treatment funding at the end of last summer when we had helped tens of thousands of Floridians stay out of hospitals.”
After the Biden administration banned Florida’s antibody treatment, DeSantis stated, “Floridians have benefited from the state’s treatment sites and their access to treatment shouldn’t be denied based on the whims of a floundering president.”
Florida and the federal government have been at odds multiple times throughout the Biden administration. Friday’s press conference is another example of the growing disconnect between the federal government and the states.