President Joe Biden on Thursday criticized numerous Republican governors, such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, for their COVID-19 responses. He also threatened to use his presidential powers to overrule them.
In a White House speech about COVID-19 vaccines, Biden targeted Americans who haven’t been vaccinated and slammed GOP governors who are not imposing what he sees as strict enough COVID-19 rules.
Biden said: “This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. And it’s caused by the fact that despite America having [an] unprecedented and successful vaccination program, despite the fact that for almost five months, free vaccines have been available in more than 80,000 different locations, we still have nearly 80 million Americans who have failed to get the shot.
He continued: ”And to make matters worse, there are elected officials actively working to undermine the fight against COVID-19. Instead of encouraging people to get vaccinated and mask up, they’re ordering mobile morgues for the unvaccinated dying from COVID in their communities.
”Right now, local school officials are trying to keep children safe in a pandemic while their governor picks a fight with them and even threatens their salaries or their jobs. Talk about bullying in schools. If they’ll not help, if these governors won’t help us beat the pandemic, I’ll use my power as president to get them out of the way.”
Biden then said that he would reimburse teachers whose pay is ”withheld for doing the right thing,” which includes enforcing mask mandates, saying that ”We will have that pay restored by the federal government, 100%. I promise you. I will have your back,” referring to DeSantis’ threat to defund schools that impose mask mandates and ordering masks to remain optional in Florida.