Tuesday afternoon, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) criticized a reporter for ostensibly attempting to politicize the hurricane that is predicted to threaten the state.
The reporter’s inquiry comes after the White House avoided inquiries earlier in the day regarding why President Joe Biden (D) had time to phone many state mayors but not the governor.
“FEMA Sec. [Deanne] Criswell stated today that she expressed worries about Florida’s lack of response to the hurricane thus far,” the reporter said.
“Wow, wow, wow. Give me a break,” retorted DeSantis. “That is absurd. Please stop politicizing. Just quit. We proclaimed a state of emergency before this monster had even begun to exist.”
He continued, “We’ve had individuals in here, you’ve had counties working, they’ve done a lot of hard work and honestly, I know that you’re attempting to attack me, but like you’re criticizing all those other folks who have really worked extremely hard. Therefore, that is utterly incorrect. We haven’t probably ever declared a state of emergency so soon, at least not since I became governor. We took great care to include everyone in it. We stated that there was a great deal of uncertainty, and since then, we have worked to ensure that the preparations that have been made and all the equipment, when something is needed by the counties, gets there fast thanks to what Kevin and his colleagues have done.”
During portions of his statements, DeSantis criticized Biden for not getting in touch sooner even though he had time to phone the mayors of Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater, Jane Castor, Ken Welch, and Frank Hibbard.
The governor was questioned by a reporter about how he would sum up his discussions with Biden as the hurricane neared landfall.
Because of this, DeSantis stated, “I have not directly spoken to the president, however FEMA has accepted our pre-landfall request.”
“We think we have an excellent working relationship with FEMA,” he added. “You know, I’m delighted to inform the president if he’s interested in knowing what we’ve been doing in Florida. You know, my perspective on all of this is that you got people’s lives in the balance, you got their properties in the balance, and we do not have any time for pettiness. To ensure that we are providing the greatest service possible for them, we must collaborate.”
DeSantis said, “So, my cellphone — my phone line is open. But we are grateful for the pre-landfall declaration’s swift approval.”
The hurricane, which is still in the Gulf of Mexico but is becoming stronger, may make landfall as a category 4 hurricane at the time of DeSantis’ comments.
Ian is “an extremely dangerous major hurricane,” according to the National Hurricane Center.