President Joe Biden left a thinly-veiled message for Texas and Florida, addressed to their governors. Either help with COVID-19 efforts or get out of the way.
Texas and Florida: Help or Get Out of the Way
The Democrat President urged the Republican leaders of Texas and Florida to follow public health guidelines on the pandemic. Or, they can get out of the way and let federal officials handle the pandemic in their areas.
Biden called out the two states due to an increasing number of COVID-19 cases spawned by the emergence of the more infectious Delta variant. The White House is having its hands full managing a resurgent crisis that threatens to disrupt the economy again.
He specifically called out Texas and Florida as the two states are now home to roughly a third of all new COVID-19 cases in the US.
Texas and Florida
“Some governors aren’t willing to do the right thing to beat this pandemic, and they should allow businesses and universities who want to do the right thing to be able to do it,” Biden said, without referencing the two governors by name. Biden emphasized his desire for cooperation. “I say to these governors … if you’re not going to help, at least get out of the way.”
Everybody knew that Biden alluded to Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. DeSantis is a staunch opponent of imposing mandates to Florida citizens on masks and vaccinations.
The governor recently issued an order blocking mask mandates in the state’s schools. He believes that parents should make the decision for their children. He does not think that big government should do the deciding for them.
Similarly, Texas Governor Greg Abbott is not a supporter of mask mandates and prefers individual choices. In fact, Abbott issued a state order earlier this year that imposes fines for organizations and businesses that enforce mask mandates.
Are The Texas and Florida Governors Harming Their Constituents?
When asked if DeSantis and Abbott make decisions that harm their constituents, Biden referred to the number of current cases in both states. “I believe the results of their decisions are not good for their constituents,” he said. According to White House pandemic response coordinator Jeff Zients, one in three new COVID-19 cases are from Texas and Florida.
Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the administration is in discussions with both states on how to help to address the problem. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an update for COVID-19. As of last week, the US reports 72,000 new COVID-19 cases per day. This is a 44% increase over the previous week.
US Donated 110 Million Vaccines To 65 Countries
In addition, the President announced that the US gave more than 110 million vaccine doses to 65 countries. This is even as the administration remains focused on the coronavirus crisis on the home front.
By late August, the country will ship around 500 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to 100 lower-income countries. By giving out vaccines, the US can help prevent the further spread of the virus around the world.
Gregg Gonsalves, assistant professor of epidemiology of microbial diseases at the Yale School of Public Health, says the US has more than enough stock. “We could give away lots of what we have and still be fine. If we don’t control it everywhere, we’re not going to control it anywhere,” Gonsalves added.
Watch the KHOU 11 video reporting that President Joe Biden called out governors in Texas, Florida for restricting local leaders:
What do you think about Biden’s message to DeSantis and Abbott to either help or get out of the way? Do you find it arrogant, or do you think it can lead to greater cooperation from both state governors?
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