White House Press Secretary Psaki Lies About Governor DeSantis, His Office Responds

August 3, 2021 Updated 1:33 PM ET

by: Tyler Shaw

During Monday’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki made several inaccurate claims against Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL). 

Psaki claimed that DeSantis is playing politics with COVID-19 by not encouraging Floridian’s to get vaccinated and not requiring students to wear masks.

Psaki said, “20% of the cases we’re seeing are in Florida. There are steps and precautions that can be taken including encouraging people to get vaccinated, encouraging people to wear masks, including allowing schools to mandate masks and allowing kids to wear masks. Which is not the current state of play in Florida. At a certain point leaders are going to have to choose whether they are going follow public health guidelines or they are going to follow politics.”

The first claim, that Governor DeSantis is not encouraging Floridians to get vaccinated, is false. In a press conference Friday, Governor DeSantis actually encouraged Floridians to get vaccinated if it is in their best interest saying, “the vaccines provide good protection against serious illness.”

“By dismissively ignoring Governor DeSantis’ efforts to protect Floridians, Psaki is the one playing politics with the pandemic,” said Christina Pushaw, DeSantis’ press secretary.

The second claim that Governor DeSantis is not allowing students to wear masks is also false. While the governor has signed an executive order effectively banning schools from mandating masks, parents still have the option to send their children to school wearing a mask.

Governor DeSantis’ office responded to Psaki’s claims saying, “The White House should be more concerned about the flip-flopping of the CDC, which is inadvertently promoting vaccine hesitancy with their confusing, contradictory public communications. Stating that vaccinated people should wear masks and socially distance is implying that the vaccines do not change anything, which is the wrong message for our federal government to be promoting.”

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