SEBASTIAN, Fla. — Florida's governor aimed sharp criticism at President Joe Biden on Friday, calling his suggestion that America may have to impose a new round of coronavirus-related restrictions "insane."
"We are not going to let him lock down Florida," Gov. Ron DeSantis said during a news conference in Sebastian. "To even contemplate doing any type of lockdown, honestly, it's insane. And so that's not gonna happen in the state of Florida."
WATCH NEWS CONFERENCE:
During a prime-time address on Thursday night, Biden urged Americans to do their part by getting vaccinated, wearing face coverings, washing your hands, and staying socially distant.
"If we don't stay vigilant and the conditions change, then we may have to reinstate restrictions to get back on track," Biden said. "And please, we don't want to do that again."
DeSantis said Friday that any additional lockdown-type policies, including restricting the travel of Floridians, are "totally unacceptable" and "ain't happening in Florida."
"We like the fact that people are able to work here. We like the fact that we have been able to save thousands, thousands of businesses and save people's livelihoods," DeSantis said.
The governor added that with more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine available, along with a majority the state's senior citizens now inoculated, additional lockdowns aren't needed.
During Biden's prime-time address on Thursday, he directed all states to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to all adults by May 1 in an effort to return the U.S. to a state of normalcy by July 4.
Starting on Monday, Florida residents who are 60 and older will be eligible to receive the vaccine statewide.
After that, DeSantis said he'll likely lower the age of eligibility to 55 and older, before finally opening up the vaccine to all adults 18 and older "sometime in April."
"I'm pretty sure, by the time March is up, we will have all 55 and up, no questions asked. And then surely, some point in April, depending on demand, I think it'll be open to all adults who want it," DeSantis said.
GOVERNOR TALKS VACCINE SUPPLY:
Some places, including Publix and the Health Care District of Palm Beach County, are now scheduling vaccination appointments for the 60 and older age group.
URGENT UPDATE: The Health Care District is currently scheduling COVID-19 vaccination appointments for the following populations as identified in the Governor’s executive order⬇️Please visit https://t.co/tOOedWUPET to schedule an appointment. pic.twitter.com/QL3Ih0yWu2— Health Care District of Palm Beach County (@healthcaredist) March 12, 2021
The governor held Friday's news conference at a new COVID-19 vaccination site at Concordia Lutheran Church in Sebastian, where 4,000 senior citizens will be vaccinated over the next four days.
The site will administer the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine to patients.
Governor Ron DeSantis is in Brevard County today, speaking outside of a new vaccine site dedicated to providing the one dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine to seniors. 4,000 over next few days. pic.twitter.com/VDugEESSjn— Meghan McRoberts (@MeghanWPTV) March 12, 2021
According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, 3,895,656 people have received the COVID-19 vaccine in the Sunshine State, including 2,789,789 senior citizens who are 65 and older.