WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Tuesday slammed Republican governors in Florida and Texas for obstructing public health measures aimed at controlling a growing strain of the coronavirus, asking them to ‘step back’ if they are unwilling to help .
“What are we doing? COVID-19 is a national challenge,” he said in prepared remarks on the delta variant of the virus he delivered from the East Room of the White House. If some governors are not willing to do the right thing to beat this pandemic, then they should allow companies and universities that want to do the right thing to be able to do it. I say to these governors, ‘Please, Help yourself, but if you’re not going to help, at least get out of the way of the people who are trying to do the right thing.
Biden had pointed out that a third of all new cases now came from just those two states. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis have vocally opposed warrants to vaccinate or wear masks to control the further rise in cases.
DeSantis has threatened to withdraw funding from school districts that require students to wear masks, for example, and has already sued the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over vaccine requirements for cruise ship passengers.
When asked in a question-and-answer session with reporters why he wouldn’t call DeSantis directly to share his post, Biden laughed and said it wasn’t necessary.
“He knows the message. He knows the message, ”he said as he left the room.
“We had quite a discussion when I was there,” he added, referring to his meeting with DeSantis in South Florida during Biden’s visit last month following the collapse of a beachfront condominium.
Abbott and DeSantis are believed to be considering campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, and the party’s voting base includes a significant percentage who oppose the coronavirus vaccine or continue to believe the disease is a ” hoax, “as former President Donald Trump once called it.
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