With the delta variant rapidly spreading throughout the country, states like Texas and Florida have been experiencing massive spikes in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.
In response to the lethal outbreak, last week the CDC issued new mask guidelines for individuals in areas of substantial or high transmission, such as K-12 schools and public indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status.
In spite of the 64,753 new cases Texas reported last week and hospitalizations growing from around 3,600 to more than 5,600, Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order “to ensure that local governmental entities or officials do not impose any such face-covering requirements.”
Abbott’s order would make it harder for local authorities to implement the federal mandate, which would require face coverings.
According to the NBC, the order also includes blocking school districts from creating mask policies at elementary schools where children under the age of 11 are not yet eligible for the vaccination and have no other protection from the virus.
Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, also implemented measures blocking federal mandate, constantly speaking against face masks, shutdowns, and vaccine mandates in spite of his state ranking at the very top of covid cases.
“We’re not shutting down, we’re gonna have schools open, we’re protecting every Floridian’s job,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis.
As a response, President Joe Biden addressed the cases of both Texas and Florida Governors.
“Just two states, Florida and Texas, account for one-third of all new COVID-19 cases in the entire country. Just two states,” Biden said. “I say to these governors, please help. If you aren’t going to help at least get out of the way of the people that are trying to do the right thing. Use your power to save lives,”
President Biden keeps insisting that the fight against the pandemic is not a partisan issue and that every authority regardless of their place in the political spectrum should join forces to keep everyone safe.
Just last week, he highlighted that the vaccine was developed by a Republican administration.“The vaccine was developed and authorized under a Republican Administration, and it’s been distributed and administered under a Democratic one. The vaccines are safe, they are highly effective, and there’s nothing political about them.” Biden tweeted.