The White House on Tuesday warned Republican governors of Texas and Florida that President Joe Biden would override their efforts to fight coronavirus vaccine mandates in their states.
“We know that federal law overrides state law,” she said referring to state attempts to ban vaccine passports.
She accused Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott of playing politics by issuing executive orders that fight vaccine passports.
“Why would you be taking steps that prevent the saving of lives that make it more difficult to save lives across the country or in any state?” she asked.
Psaki argued that the governors were “putting politics ahead of public health.”
“Every leader should be focused on supporting efforts to save lives and end the pandemic,” she said.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Monday banning any entity in Texas from requiring vaccine mandates for their employees or their customers.
“In yet another instance of federal government overreach, the Biden Administration is now bullying many private entities into imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates, causing workforce disruptions that threaten Texas’s continued recovery from the COVID-19 disaster,” Abbott wrote.
DeSantis signed legislation in May banning vaccine passports in Florida.
On Tuesday, he announced fines for Leon County for firing 14 employees after they refused to get the vaccine.
“We must protect the jobs of Floridians and preserve the ability of Floridians to make their own decisions regarding what shots to take,” he said.
Biden announced his intention in September to enact a new rule requiring all businesses over 100 employees to require their workers to get vaccinated for the coronavirus or lose their jobs.
The rule, currently being drafted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), has yet to be released, although Psaki told reporters it would be released “soon.”
“Bottom line is, we’re going to continue to implement the law, which the president of the United States has the ability, the authority, the legal authority to do,” she said.