Biden has told some governors to “step aside” if they don’t want to help with COVID-19.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis hit back at Biden on Wednesday, telling him to do his job at the border.
The number of migrants at the border is increasing, as states like Florida and Texas face outbreaks of COVID-19.
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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis lashed out at President Joe Biden at a press conference Wednesday after the White House criticized the state’s handling of COVID-19.
On Tuesday, Biden singled out Florida and Texas, which together account for about a third of all COVID-19 cases in the United States.
“Some governors are unwilling to do the right things to make this happen,” Biden told reporters, without mentioning the governors by name, according to USA Today. “I say to these governors, please help. If you are not going to help, at least stay away from the people who are trying to do the right thing. Use your power to save lives.”
Read more: 11 problematic people and issues that could torpedo Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ ascent to a 2024 presidential election
DeSantis, a Republican, last week signed an order banning the use of masks in schools, threatening to withdraw funding from schools that do so. Meanwhile, Florida is experiencing one of the worst epidemics in the country, with an increase in the number of cases and record hospitalizations caused by the more infectious Delta variant.
Talk to journalists On Wednesday, DeSantis said Biden was trying to “distinguish Florida from COVID.”
“This is a guy who ran for president saying he was going to, I quote, stop the virus,” DeSantis said. “And what did he do? He imported more viruses from all over the world by having a wide open southern border.”
“Why don’t you do your job? Why don’t you secure this border, and until you do, I don’t want to hear any noise about COVID from you,” he said. continued before abruptly leaving the microphone.
Republican lawmakers blasted the Biden administration for the increase in the number of migrants heading to the southern border. More than 188,000 migrants arrived at the border in June, the highest number of any month in recent history.
Some border communities have also seen a slight increase in COVID-19 cases, which has put increased pressure on Biden to remedy the situation. The Department of Homeland Security said on Friday it was resuming expedited deportation flights to Central America for migrants who could not be deported under Title 42.
Title 42 is a controversial order first invoked under President Donald Trump to quickly deport migrants without allowing them to seek asylum due to the risks of COVID-19. The administration said on Monday it would continue to apply Title 42 to deport migrants.
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