White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and President Joe Biden took shots at Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Tuesday while Biden praised New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for doing a “hell of a job” as governor despite Cuomo announcing earlier in the day that he was resigning amid controversy.
Psaki responded to a question from a reporter about DeSantis’s office saying that Florida would impose financial penalties on top school officials to enforce the state’s ban on mask mandates in schools.
“If you’re not interested in following the public health guidelines to protect the lives of people in your state, to give parents some comfort as they’re sending their kids to school, schools are opening in Florida this week I know, in many parts of Florida, then get out of the way and let public officials, let local officials do their job to keep students safe,” Psaki said. “This is serious, and we’re talking about people’s lives, and we know based on public health guidelines that even though kids under a certain age are not yet eligible, masks can have a huge impact.”
WH Press Sec. Psaki responds to Gov. DeSantis' (R-FL) financial penalties for school officials who violate his ban on mask mandates:
"If you are not interested in following the public health guidelines to protect the lives of people in your state … then get out of the way …" pic.twitter.com/Ea4kOMqX23
— The Recount (@therecount) August 10, 2021
Later in the day, Biden said that he thought that it was “a little disingenuous when I suggest that people in zones where there is a high risk, where the masks like you all are doing,” Biden told reporters. “[And] I’m told that government should get out of the way and not do that, they don’t have authority to do that. And I find it interesting that some of the very people saying that, who hold government positions, are people who are threatening that if a school teacher asks a student if they’ve 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.”
“Do you have presidential powers to intervene in states like Texas and Florida where they are banning mask mandates?” a reporter asked.
“I don’t believe that I do thus far, we’re checking that, we, but there are on federal workforce I can,” Biden responded. “And I think that people should understand, seeing 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 it’s just, well, I should not characterize beyond that.”
Biden made the remarks during a press conference where he praised Cuomo for doing “a hell of a job” as the governor of the state. Biden later snapped at a female reporter who asked him about how he could praise the governor “if he’s accused of sexually harassing women on the job?”
Biden accuses Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott of sickening children with possibly deadly cases of Covid because they won't implement mask mandates and other restrictions from last year, calling their behavior "counterintuitive and quite frankly disingenuous" pic.twitter.com/C4PGAfAkc5
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) August 10, 2021