After Novak Djokovic was denied entry to the United States to play at Indian Wells, Americans were furious. Florida Senator Rick Scott urged President Biden to intervene. Now other politicians are joining him. They demand the entry of a Serb into the country and the abolition of absurd vaccination requirements.
Novak Djokovic, world No. 1 in the ATP ranking, cannot enter the United States because he has not been vaccinated against the coronavirus. Currently, any foreign national entering the United States must present a Covid-19 vaccination certificate. Djokovic is known to be anti-vaccination and remains unvaccinated. The requirement to vaccinate when entering the US will disappear on May 11, when the president’s declared public health emergency declared by the pandemic ends. As a result, Novak Djokovic can’t play in the current Indian Wells and then starting Miami Open. The Serb was not given a special permit to enter the US without being vaccinated.
American politicians say that Novak Djokovic’s request for medical leave to play in the Miami Open has not yet been considered. Rick Scott, now a Florida Republican senator who was governor of the state from 2011 to 2019, asked in an open letter to Biden, the president of the United States, that Djokovic be allowed to enter the country. In the letter, he pointed out that the president himself said on the national television in the 60 Minutes program that the pandemic is over. Now Marco Rubio, another Florida senator, is speaking similarly to Scott. Ron DeSantis also joined the discussion, and in a slightly sharper tone. The Florida governor and Republican representative in the 2024 presidential election wrote a letter to Biden saying “The only thing stopping him from participating is the erroneous, unscientific and outdated Covid-19 vaccination requirement.” The senator also cites tennis legend John McEnroe as saying that he was absolutely right in claiming that the vaccination requirement at this point in time is absurd.
DeSantis goes on to point out, “Novak, as I’m sure you know, is the most successful tennis player in history. Its presence does not pose a significant threat to public health.” He even questions whether there is a ban on entry into the country if he arrives by boat: “Please confirm by March 10 at the latest that this mode of travel will be allowed in Florida.” The president’s office has yet to comment on the matter.