Joe Biden is refusing to speak to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as Hurricane Ian hurdles toward the Sunshine State, potentially impacting hundreds of thousands of American citizens who lie in the path of the storm.
According to numerous reports and uncomforting answers by members of the Biden administration, the president is choosing not to talk to DeSantis and instead has spoken to various Floridian mayors about the impending environmental disaster.
The lack of communication between the two leaders signals a break in tradition, as past presidents and governors have typically shared conversations over the phone prior to a natural disaster in order to facilitate bipartisanship and federal support.
Hurricane Ian, now a Category 3 storm, is headed towards the west coast of Florida and is expected to make landfall on Wednesday night with wind speeds expected to reach up to 120 miles per hour with heavy rainfall.
Biden’s refusal to call DeSantis was seemingly confirmed by FEMA administrator Deanne Criswell, who said she contacted the governor herself at the direction of the president.
"But he's made conversations with the mayors, so is there any reason why not the governor?"
Biden has yet to call Governor Desantis ahead of hurricane Ian, but has found time to call the mayors. pic.twitter.com/ZzUwdpvG9C
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 27, 2022
“The president directed me to contact the governor early on before we even did the declaration. I did that,” Criswell said.
“We are very focused on what the needs of Florida are right now. We do not bring politics into our ability to respond to these disasters,” Criswell said. “We are going to support whatever Gov. DeSantis asks of us.”
During remarks made in the Rose Garden today to discuss high healthcare costs, Biden conceded that he spoke to various mayors in Florida, but omitted any mention of DeSantis.
“I told each one of them whatever they need — I mean this sincerely — to contact me directly and they know how to do that,” the president said. “I have a lot of personnel down there already. We are here to support them in every way we can.”