Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has called on President Joe Biden to stop hating and allow Serbian professional tennis player Novak Djokovic into the United States so that he may participate in two upcoming tournaments.
At issue is the Biden administration’s continued requirement that anyone traveling into the United States from elsewhere be vaccinated. Djokovic is not, and as a result, he’s been denied entry into the country.
BREAKING: We have been told that @DHSgov just denied @DjokerNole‘s vaccine waiver request, making him ineligible to compete in the US next week in CA & in the @MiamiOpen. @JoeBiden must fix this NOW, grant the waiver & allow him to compete here in the states. https://t.co/TSD10yM8u6
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) March 3, 2023
Thus far, Djokovic has reportedly already withdrawn from the Indian Wells Open tournament that began in California this Wednesday.
If he isn’t granted entry by the 19th, he may be forced to withdraw from this year’s Miami Open tournament as well.
Enter DeSantis, who, during a press conference Wednesday, defended Djokovic’s decision to not get vaccinated.
“He is being discriminated against because he didn’t take the MRNA COVID jab. And he never wanted to do it from the beginning. And you know what? There are people in Florida who never wanted to do it, and we fought for your right to make that choice without losing your job,” the governor said.
“And so not only has he not wanted to take it, we now have the data to show these booster shots aren’t preventing you from getting infected. People get infected anyways. So it’s like now you have this rule — and we’re one of the only countries in the world who has this rule — that you have to show shot records to come in as a foreign visitor on an airplane,” he added.
The governor then vowed to do about anything to get Djokovic into the U.S., including “running” a boat to get him in.
“Never mind Djokovic has already had COVID. There’s something called natural immunity, which the CDC didn’t want to recognize, but we all know is a fact of life. So he poses zero risk to the United States, zero risk to the state of Florida, and zero risk to Miami, so he should be allowed to compete,” he said.
“Now, I would run a boat from the Bahamas here for him. I would do that. 100 percent. But I think his people are looking at it — and I’m not sure that’s the way they want to come into the country, which I understand. I think it’d be a great moment, but nevertheless,” he added.
WATCH: DeSantis says he’d run a boat to allow Novak Djokovic entry into Florida for the Miami Open after being denied due to mRNA status
“People get infected anyways […] He poses zero risk to the United States, zero risk to the state of Florida, and zero risk to Miami.” pic.twitter.com/JESlhTXXX1
— Florida’s Voice (@FLVoiceNews) March 8, 2023
In addition to speaking out at a press conference, the governor also reportedly sent a letter to the president urging him to let Djokovic into the country.
“It has been reported that Novak Djokovic has formally applied and been denied permission from your administration to enter the United States so that he may compete at the upcoming Miami Open tennis tournament. This denial is unfair, unscientific and unacceptable. I urge you to reconsider. It’s time to put pandemic politics aside and give the American people what they want — let him play,” the letter reads.
Hilariously, the governor even addressed his boat idea with the president.
“It is also not clear to me why, even by the terms of your own proclamation, Mr. Djokovic could not legally enter this country via boat! Please confirm no later than Friday, March 10, 2023, that this method of travel into Florida would be permissible,” he wrote.
View the letter below:
The only thing keeping Novak Djokovic from participating in the Miami Open tennis tournament is President Biden’s misguided and unscientific COVID-19 vaccination requirement for foreigner travelers.
Mr. President – lift your restrictions and let him compete. pic.twitter.com/fFyhNoUV4S
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 7, 2023
The president is also facing heavy pressure from the public to “cut the malarkey” already and just let Djokovic into the U.S. already.
Some of the pressure is even coming from the president’s own supporters.
“As much as I support your administration, I feel denying his entry is wrong & outdated in 2023. Hell, tons of U.S. athletes & civilians are unvaccinated. @POTUS,” one supporter tweeted.
See more responses below:
@POTUS end the covid vax requirement. You let millions cross the border unvaxed but u wont let one pro tennis player come and play!!!! Idiot in chief!!! #tennis #Djokovic #dumb #covid #wakeup
— freepalmtree (@nonewtricks) March 9, 2023
@POTUS You moron. Novak Djokovic should be welcomed into the US immediately. One of the greatest tennis players ever. Yet you allow millions of illegal immigrants into our country via the southern border without any vaccination check whatsoever. Pathetic. Unbelievable!!!!!!
— Adam Sheerin (@sheerin_adam) March 9, 2023
@GOP I actually agree with you on this. @POTUS declared the pandemic over, and The Pentagon even lifted the #Covid vaccine requirement for the military. Consistency in policy and rhetoric is important. #Biden #Djokovic https://t.co/gBbcGhr2cI
— ConvertedLeft (@ConvertedLeft) March 8, 2023
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