Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has written to President Joe Biden to ask him to end the “absurd” ban on tennis number one Novak Djokovic from entering the United States to play at the Miami Open due to his vaccination status. Here is the letter in full.
March 7th 2023
The Honorable Joseph R. Biden
President of the United States
The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Northwest Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Biden:
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.
While Mr. Djokovic is surely a supreme competitive threat to his fellow tennis professionals, his presence in our country poses no meaningful health or public safety risk. I note that since the onset of COVID-19, Mr. Djokovic has visited the United States at least twice – including once during your presidency – without any apparent health incident. 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 10th 2023 that this method of travel into Florida would be permissible.
Furthermore, even as you enacted the Proclamation on air travel that remains in force to this day, your administration pointedly allowed thousands of unvaccinated migrants to enter our country through the southern border. In sum, the current ‘travel ban’ as applied to Mr. Djokovic and presumably millions of other potential unvaccinated foreign visitors seems completely ungrounded in logic, common sense, or any genuine concern for the health and welfare of the American people.
Affectionately known as ‘Tennis’s Fifth Grand Slam’, the Miami Open is the second most popular tennis event in the United States and routinely attracts hundreds of thousands of fans as well as premier tennis professionals from around the world. Novak Djokovic, as you surely know, is the most accomplished tennis player in history and the reigning top-ranked player in his sport. As a result of his illustrious career and philanthropic efforts, he has a strong following of loyal fans in the United States. There can be no question that his inclusion in the Miami Open would be a tremendous boon both for this treasured tournament and the tennis community at large.
Read More: Ron DeSantis Asks Biden to Allow Djokovic to Play at the Miami Open