Help or 'get out of the way,' Biden says to governors on combatting pandemic

The president took aim at local officials, including the Florida and Texas governors, over laws that prevent public health measures in the wake of surging COVID-19 cases.

8/4/2021 11:08:00 AM

Pres. Biden: 'If some governors aren't willing to do the right thing to beat this pandemic, then they should allow businesses and universities who want to do the right thing to be able to do it.' 'If you aren't going to help, at least get out of the way.'

The president took aim at local officials, including the Florida and Texas governors, over laws that prevent public health measures in the wake of surging COVID-19 cases.

Biden delivers remarks on global vaccine effortPresident Joe Biden announced that 110 million vaccines have been shipped worldwide in an effort to halt the rise of any future variants of the virus.Jonathan Ernst/ReutersThe president took aim Tuesday at local officials, including the governors of Florida and Texas, over laws that prevented public health measures in the wake of surging

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COVID-19cases."I say to these governors: please help, but you aren't going to help at least get out of the way," President Joe Biden said."The people are trying to do the right thing. Use your power to save lives."MORE: All 50 states report rising vaccination rates as COVID infections surge, data shows

Biden called out Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, states which Biden said account for one-third of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S."And worst of all, some state officials are passing laws or signing orders that forbid people from doing the right thing. As of now, seven states not only banned mask mandates, but also banned them in their school districts, even for young children who cannot get vaccinated," Biden said.

Abbott issued anexecutive orderon Thursday that banned mask mandates and other operating mandates in Texas."They have the individual right and responsibility to decide for themselves and their children whether they will wear masks, open their businesses, and engage in leisure activities," Abbott said in a statement about the order Thursday."Vaccines, which remain in abundant supply, are the most effective defense against the virus, and they will always remain voluntary -- never forced -- in the State of Texas."

Jonathan Ernst/ReutersPresident Joe Biden delivers remarks at the White House in Washington, D.C., Aug. 3, 2021.DeSantis has stuck to a long-time promise not to impose a mask mandate in Florida. Both states have also moved toban institutions from requiring vaccinations

.In response to a question from a reporter, Biden criticized the measures as"bad" policy. This comes as the two states see surges in cases and hospitalizations."I believe the results of their decisions are not good for their constituents," Biden said."And it's clear to me, and to most medical experts, that the decisions being made, like not allowing mask mandates in school and the like, are bad health policy."

White House press secretary Jen Psaki had a similar sentiment during a press briefing earlier Tuesday, calling out"extreme" measures.Wilfredo Lee/APFlorida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference, Aug. 3, 2021, in Miami. DeSantis is doubling down as the state again broke its record for COVID-19 hospitalizations. The governor insisted that the spike will be short-lived.

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"In fact, the most extreme of these measures is in Texas where ... a professor or teacher can be fined if they ask a student if they are vaccinated or if they ask unvaccinated students to wear masks. And I think the fundamental question we have is: What are we doing here?"

Psaki noted the need for unity in the fight against the virus, and even praised most Republican governments who she said are"doing exactly the right thing ... and taking steps to advocate for more people to get vaccinated.""But if you aren't going to help, if you aren't going to abide by public health guidance, then get out of the way and let people do the right thing to lead in their communities, whether they are teachers, university leaders, private sector leaders or others who are trying to save lives," Psaki said.

Psaki also highlighted that the White House has extended offers of federal support to the two hard-hit states.Justin Rex/AP, FILEIn this March 2, 2021, file photo taken in Lubbock, Texas, Governor Greg Abbott announces that he is rescinding executive orders that limit capacities for businesses and the state wide mask mandate.

"Teams from (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and (Health and Human Services) are in contact with Florida officials to offer technical assistance and support," Psaki said."We're also engaged with the governor's office in Texas and the state health department to discuss the state of the pandemic there and how we can offer specific assistance, as well as Louisiana."

Asked by a reporter whether the states had accepted the federal support, Psaki said that it is a"discussion," and said that they are talking to the states about how the government"can provide additional assistance." Read more: ABC News »

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Tell this guy and PowerUSAID to interfere in sovereign countries like Ethiopia 🇪🇹. We Africans are tired of the US’s demonic foreign strategies. This world needs to be fair to everyone and that's all we want. Hands off Ethiopia 🇪🇹 GFY Joe Well said president Biden. Won’t make any difference to GOP governors though.

Says the dictator. Get them out of office! Can we place a citizens arrest for endangering Americans if Joe is not going to do anything about them. You know that thing…cmon man…. What is the so called right thing? Thats very subjective. I would assume GOP governors also feel they are doing the right thing long term

Lol…he should talk. Foreign attack again on Iran Globalists darkness thugs West to East thugs islamists black & communists red etc May death pass over your world May your time prosper as well In country of roar of lions passed & left This howling. Your dogs will pass too⏬ Amen!

Biden taps lawyer to help rescind Trump immigration policyAfter months of waiting, the Biden administration has hired a former Obama official to help take apart the restrictive immigration policies developed under Trump Does Biden really need any help with leaving the border open? He's done a pretty good job so far with an estimated 1 million illegals who have entered the country in the last 7 months. 2 college degrees from U.S., many years of experience, making difference and influencing young generations on daily basis. Still, my USCIS GC case keeps getting denied and denied.. where is justice for people doing everything by the law to get a proper review of their case?

Pro-COVID governors: GregAbbott_TX RonDeSantisFL mikeparson KristiNoem KimReynoldsIA DrGJackBrown An American picked a fight with a foreigner once. He said Americans are the most stupid, arrogant, & warmongering people on the planet. After reading the comment section, our reputation is SPOT ON. Wtf?! What Biden just said was totally rational & NORMAL.

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U.S. hits 70 percent Covid vaccination goal — a month later than Biden had hoped toSeventy percent of American adults have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, officials said Monday, reaching a goal that President Joe Biden had hoped to reach a month ago. Fuck that

U.S. hits 70 percent Covid vaccination goal — a month later than Biden had hoped toMore than 180.7 million Americans 18 years or older have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, according to the CDC. Hmm 厉害 No he didn't