Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday he has ordered National Guard troops from his state to come home after reports revealed that soldiers were sleeping in a parking garage rather than being allowed to stay inside the U.S. Capitol.
“These folks are soldiers,” DeSantis said on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.” “They served our country, the state of Florida after natural disasters, they are serving right now helping with vaccinating senior citizens. They are not [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi’s servants.”
Troops have been allowed back into the Capitol complex to rest after an outcry over an order for troops to leave the Dirksen Senate Office Building. They were sent to rest at a garage that had just one electrical outlet, no internet service, and one bathroom with two stalls to serve 5,000 troops.
The order came at the “back end” of orders to investigate the backgrounds of all Guard members who had been deployed to Washington, D.C., to provide security for President Joe Biden’s inauguration after riots rocked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
“It was totally inappropriate and very disrespectful, so this a half-cocked mission at this point,” DeSantis said of the background checks. “The important thing is to bring them home.”
DeSantis also denied reports that people are flying into his state for the sole purpose of getting COVID-19 vaccines that they are unable to get in their own states.
“There have been 1.3 million reported vaccine shots,” he said, adding 97% of those have gone to full-time Florida residents.
Part-time residents who have homes and pay taxes in Florida are one thing, but as for outsiders planning to make the trip, “there is no vaccine tourism,” DeSantis said.
“Hospitals are not allowed to engage in vaccine tourism,” he said. “If someone didn’t follow the rules, that is something we deal with. We are putting our seniors first and putting Florida seniors first.”
At this point, 840,000 Florida seniors have gotten their shots, but Friday may be the day “we will do our one-millionth senior,” said DeSantis, bringing Henry Sayler, a 100-year-old World War II veteran, onto the program to get that shot live.
“This is something we need to focus on, the 65 and up population,” he said. “If you double my vaccine allotment next week I would be able to do double the vaccine.”
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.