As the media and the medical establishment gather to condemn Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) for their bans on mask mandates within their respective states, President Joe Biden said he will be “checking” to see if he can “intervene” from the White House.
Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, the president said he would be “checking” to see if he could intervene in states like Florida and Texas following a question from NBC’s Peter Alexander.
“Do you have presidential powers to intervene in states like Texas and Florida where they are banning mask mandates?” asked Alexander.
Biden said that avenues for him to intervene would most likely be for federal workers within states like Florida or Texas:
I don’t believe that I do thus far. We’re checking that. But there are — federal workforce, I can. I think that people should understand, see little kids, I mean, four, five, six years old in hospitals on ventilators and some of them passing, not many, but some of them passing, it’s almost — I mean, it’s just — well. I should not characterize beyond that.
During his Tuesday news conference, President Biden also denounced efforts to ban mask mandates, primarily in schools, describing them as “disingenuous.”:
And I find it interesting that some of the very people who are saying that, who hold government positions, are people who are threatening that if a schoolteacher asks a student if they have been vaccinated, or if a principal says that ‘everyone in my school should wear a mask’ or the school board votes for it, that governor will nullify that — that governor has the authority to say, ‘You can’t do that’.
“I find that totally counterintuitive and, quite frankly, disingenuous,” he added.
Though Biden did not specifically single out Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) for criticism, the mainstream media has been relentlessly hammering the rising Republican star since expressing his support of the ban. Former Trump administration Surgeon General Jerome Adams, for instance, even went so far as to call it “unconscionable.”
Adams said during an appearance on CBS This Morning:
As a physician, as a public health expert, it is deeply troubling that it seems we’re letting politics get in the way of protecting our youth. As a father, I quite frankly think it’s unconscionable. I really do. I think you can’t tie the hands of school and public health officials based on what you perceive to be the reality when your public health officials are telling you they need these tools.
We’re going to see more spread, unfortunately. Parents, if your kids are over 12, please get your questions answered so you can get them vaccinated. You should consider wearing an N-95 mask because they’re available now. Keep an eye on the numbers in your area, the COVID numbers, so that you can make an informed decision even as the politicians are telling you they won’t let it be mandated.
When announcing his ban on mask mandates, Gov. DeSantis said he will not subject his state to more lockdowns and more mandates.
“If you listen to some of the stuff that’s being percolated around the CDC, there’s a movement to try to impose more restrictions on the American people,” DeSantis said. “And I just want to say in Florida, there will be no lockdowns. There will be no school closures. There will be no restrictions or mandates in the state of Florida.”
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