Florida Governor Ron DeSantis rejected President Biden’s request for Florida to send the National Guard to Washington, D.C. ahead of the State of the Union.
Background: On the 2020 campaign trail and throughout his term as president Joe Biden has repeatedly slammed Gov. DeSantis for his Covid-19 protocols.
Florida removed most Covid-19 orders such as mandatory masking and school closures before many other Democrat-controlled states, which triggered a massive backlash from leftists.
Ahead of President Biden’s first State of the Union address, fencing has already been re-installed around the Capitol building. Many have criticized the measure as being nothing more than political theater while Democrats have claimed there’s an increased threat around the Capitol grounds.
Following the Jan. 6th Capitol riot, dancing was installed around the Capitol for months with National Guards standing watch through the winter. Many Republican lawmakers criticized the conditions National Guards were forced to live in while, accusing Democrats of political theater.
What Happened: On Monday, Ron DeSantis tweeted that he rejected Biden’s request to deploy Florida’s National Guard to D.C.
What DeSantis Says: DeSantis’ press secretary Christina Pushaw said the federal government sent the request to all states “to prepare for anticipated ‘First Amendment protests'” coinciding with Biden’s address Tuesday. The National Guard “should never be misused for political purposes.” (per The Washington Examiner)
“Last year, when the National Guard deployed to D.C. around the inauguration, they were forced to sleep in freezing parking lots, all for a regime spectacle,” Pushaw said. “Our dedicated, patriotic service members deserve better.”
Context: Heightened security measures surrounding Biden’s State of the Union have been in the process for weeks over concerns of an expected trucker convoy protest against COVID-1`9 rules, similar to the demonstrations in Canada in recent weeks.
On Monday, the Capitol announced it was finally lifting its mask mandate. Republicans noted the convenient timing for the rules change on Twitter.