(RSBN) Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., publicly announced Monday that the Florida National Guard would not deploy to Washington D.C. for the State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Joe Biden petitioned governors across the country last week to send their National Guard service members ahead of the annual event, but he received a hard no from DeSantis.
“Last week, the Biden administration requested assistance of State National Guards to deploy to Washington D.C. I have rejected this request – there will be no Florida National Guard sent to D.C. for Biden’s State of the Union,” said DeSantis in a tweet.
Minus the absence of Florida, a total of 700 guardsmen have been activated for security detail and traffic control for Biden’s national speech. Most of the troops are from a local guard unit within the nation’s capital after the D.C. Emergency Management Agency granted Biden’s request. The remaining guardsmen are from Vermont, New Jersey, and West Virginia.
As barricades and defensive measurements increase ahead of the presentation, mask mandates are being lifted. The Capitol physician, Brian P. Monahan, advised House members in a notice that indoor mask mandates are now “optional” due to new data on Covid cases.
Providing room for self-responsibility, “Individuals may choose to mask at any time, but it is no longer a requirement,” said Monohan. The advisory comes on the heels of the State of the Union address and prompts some, including the House GOP, to question the conveniently timed repositioning of the coronavirus science.
The State of the Union will begin at 9:00 p.m. EST. Viewers can join RSBN to watch a live response from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, R-Ga., as she breaks down Joe Biden’s remarks.