“We’re facing a lot of pushback, especially from some of the Republican governors,” Biden said in a speech delivered from the White House on Thursday. “The governors of Florida and Texas are doing everything they can to undermine the life-saving requirements that I’ve proposed.”
“This is the worst kind of politics because it’s putting the lives of citizens of their states, especially children, at risk,” Biden said of the GOP governors. “And I refuse to give in to it.”
"This is the worst kind of politics cause it's putting the lives of citizens of their states, especially children, at risk. And I refuse to give into it," President Biden says on GOP governors undermining 'the life saving requirements I've proposed' on Covid vaccines. pic.twitter.com/rW9sRYaiNp
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) September 16, 2021
In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis has spoken against mandatory vaccines and invited anti-vaxxers to speak at a press conference he organized, and two of them spread misinformation about the vaccine during their remarks.
DeSantis also proudly banned public school districts from implementing mask mandates, leading to a prolonged court battle as 13 districts fight the governor’s order. Texas’ governor, Greg Abbott — when he wasn’t busy suppressing voting rights and ostensibly banning abortion in his state — attempted a mask mandate ban similar to Florida’s that has also landed in court. Both governors’ actions go against guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that recommends all students and staff mask in K-12 environments.
“Some of the same governors attacking me are in states with the strictest vaccine mandates for children attending school in the entire country,” Biden said, referring to Mississippi’s Republican Governor Tate Reeves and all other vaccines aside from Covid-19. Reeves has called Covid vaccine mandates “unconstitutional” and a “tyrannical-type move.” As of Thursday, Mississippi’s vaccination rates against the Coronavirus are far behind the national average, with only 42% of its total population fully vaccinated compared to 54% nationally.
“In Mississippi, children are required to be vaccinated against measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, hepatitis B, polio, tetanus and more,” Biden said. “These are state requirements. But in the midst of a pandemic that has already taken over 660,000 lives, I propose a requirement for Covid vaccines and the governor of that state calls it ‘a tyrannical-type move’? A tyrannical-type move?”
On the same day as Biden’s speech, Fox News obtained a letter sent to the president by 24 Republican attorneys general threatening legal action against the administration for a swath of new federal vaccine mandates the president announced last week.
“You have offered the American people flimsy legal arguments, contradictory statements, and threatening directives,” the AGs wrote. “It is almost as if your goal is to sow division and distrust, rather than promote unity and the public’s health.”
Meanwhile, one out of every 500 people in the U.S. has died from the virus, and, according to the CDC director, unvaccinated people are 11 times more likely to die of Covid-19.