Florida Governor Rob DeSantis is the latest to publicly criticize the United States rule that prevented Novak Djokovic to enter the United States and compete at the US Open. Djokovic, 35, hasn't been vaccinated against COVID-19.
As per the current United States vaccine laws, unvaccinated foreigners cant enter the country. "They're not letting Djokovic come to the United States to play the US Open because of the shot? He's already had Covid, and the shot - it's not stopping you from getting this.
It is so bizarre, it is so stupid," DeSantis said.
Ron DeSantis on Novak Djokovic: "They're not letting Djokovic come to the United States to play the US Open because of the shot!? He's already had Covid, and the shot? it's not stopping you from getting this.
Djokovic missing out on his second Grand Slam in 2022
After missing the Australian Open at the start of the season, Djokovic is also out of the final Grand Slam of the season.
Djokovic was hoping until the last moment that the CDC would change rules and allow him to enter the United States, but that didn't happen. After Djokovic pulled out of the US Open, USA's Tennys Sandgren accused the USTA of "not even trying to help Djokovic get in." The USTA reacted shortly afterwards after Tennis Majors reached out to them.
In a statement for Tennis Majors, the USTA said they could not have asked for a Djokovic exemption even if they wanted to. “The USTA was in regular contact with several departments within the United States Federal Government including the Department of Homeland Security, Customs & Border Control and the State Department,” the statement said.
“In all instances, we were informed that the US Government was no longer considering third party applications for National Interest Exemptions. Only NIE’s submitted by the individual seeking the NIE would be reviewed by the appropriate department or authorities regarding entrance of unvaccinated non-US citizens.
Djokovic may not return to Grand Slam action until May 2023. After being deported from Australia, Djokovic was also handed a three-year ban from entering the country. But Djokovic is hopeful that the Australian government will rescind the ban and allow him to play at the Australian Open next January.