Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sent a hardline message to President Joe Biden on mask mandates at his Wednesday press conference.
After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed their updated masking guidelines that recommend both vaccinated and unvaccinated people wear masks indoors amid the delta variant concerns, the Biden administration is open to more lockdowns, which DeSantis made sure to take a stand against.
“Joe Biden suggests that if you don’t do lockdown policies, then you should ‘get out of the way,'" the GOP governor said. "But let me tell you this: If you’re coming after the rights of parents in Florida, I’m standing in your way. I’m not going to let you get away with it."
The COVID guidelines also suggest children wear masks this coming school year, though DeSantis signed an executive order prohibiting public schools from implementing mask mandates in hopes to cede decision-making power to parents.
“In Florida,” he said, referring to students masking in schools, “the parents are going to be the ones in charge of that decision.”
DeSantis’ fiery remarks come after Biden called out Florida for the mask mandate ban, calling it “bad health policy” and telling some governors to “get out the way,” The Hill reported.
The Florida governor not only stood strongly against the CDC and White House’s coronavirus response, but also called out Biden for his lacking leadership at the border.
Conservatives have argued that the border could be a major source of coronavirus spread, and Biden’s lackadaisical approach to the U.S.-Mexico border crisis reveals he is not as concerned with the delta variant as he puts on.
“Why don’t you do your job,” DeSantis said, “why don’t you get this border secure and until you do that, I don’t want to hear a blip about COVID from you.”
“We are doing everything we can to help the people of FL, and they’re stepping up by getting vaccinated – we hope @GovRonDeSantis joins us in this fight,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki tweeted in response to DeSantis’ comments.
23% of new COVID hospitalizations in the U.S are in Florida, and their hospitals are being overwhelmed again.— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) August 4, 2021
We are doing everything we can to help the people of FL, and they're stepping up by getting vaccinated – we hope @GovRonDeSantis joins us in this fight. https://t.co/53y97ngQ4E
Despite the White House targeting DeSantis for not doing enough to alleviate infections, just weeks ago he stressed the importance of the vaccine.
“These vaccines are saving lives,” DeSantis said.