Biden slams Abbott and DeSantis on bans on mandates: "Get out of the way"

AP Photo/John Locher

Why won’t Republican governors like Greg Abbott of Texas and Ron DeSantis of Florida just get out of Biden’s way already? Joe Biden briefed the country Tuesday afternoon on the progress being made against the coronavirus pandemic. President Unity went out of his way to trash Abbott and DeSantis as obstacles. The reason is that the two governors have issued orders against mandates for face masks and vaccinations while refusing to require businesses to ask for confirmation from customers that they’ve been vaccinated.

Abbott and DeSantis are particularly concerned about some of the latest mixed messaging from CDC and NIH about requiring schoolchildren to wear face masks in classrooms. At this point, mask mandates in schools are looking like a form of child abuse. It’s bad enough that more than a year of in-person classroom instruction has been lost due to the pandemic. Now teacher unions are teaming up with CDC and the Biden administration to demand that children continue to wear face masks indefinitely, using the Delta variant as their latest excuse.

Allahpundit addressed Biden’s criticism of DeSantis and a rise in cases in Florida. Biden is gunning for DeSantis as all Democrats are because he is the Golden Boy of the Republican Party, at least so far. He’s been criticized from Day One by Democrats on his handling of the pandemic, making tweaks in policy as needed, while keeping focused on keeping businesses open and the state economy as healthy as possible. He’s big on personal freedom, as Abbott is, and as most Republicans used to be.

Governor Abbott signed an order banning mandates from state and local agencies, as well as private and public entities that receive public funds. That means no mask mandates in public schools. It should mean the same thing for such places as city halls and commissioners courts but a Dallas County Judge and Houston’s mayor have both defied Abbott’s order this week to see if they can push the envelope in their quests for power over Texans. All of this is in the name of public health and what they deem best for fellow Texans, of course. It’s for your own good. Democrats are not big on personal freedom. They are perfectly comfortable accepting mandates from government bureaucrats at CDC and NIH and from the Biden White House.

President Joe Biden expressed frustration with Republican governors who are blocking local businesses and schools from implementing coronavirus mask and vaccine mandates as the highly contagious delta variant continues to overwhelm states across the country.

Biden singled out Florida and Texas, both GOP-led hot spots that have pushed back against coronavirus restrictions in recent days, which he said accounted for a third of all new COVID-19 cases in the entire country.

“Some governors aren’t willing to do the right things to make this happen,” Biden told reporters after delivering remarks on his administration’s COVID-19 response. “I say to these governors, please help. If you aren’t going to help, at least get out of the way of the people who are trying to do the right thing. Use your power to save lives.”

Texas, Biden said, is the absolute worst. He labeled Abbott’s latest order as “the most extreme.” This will be music to the ears of Abbott’s base supporters. The most ardent of Abbott’s supporters will be pleased that Biden is frustrated with Texans who won’t go back to panicking about the pandemic and issuing mandates that have proven to have less than successful results in mitigating the pandemic. The one thing people can do is get vaccinated and that helps if they become infected. Otherwise, the use of masks is questionable. Everyone knows that now and the people who are supposed to know everything keep waffling back and forth on such basic premises about the virus. Biden’s not the only person who is frustrated – so are Americans hearing one message one day and another the next. No one sounds more confused than Joe Biden.

The “get out of the way” quip must have been rehearsed today before Biden delivered it. Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the same thing during Tuesday’s White House press briefing. Perhaps they think it’s clever. Maybe they think it instills confidence that the tough guys are in charge. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but that kind of malarkey doesn’t play well in Texas. Texans are quite capable of making their own decisions, of accepting personal responsibility. They will get vaccinated or they won’t and live with the consequences. Abbott isn’t anti-vax, he’s fully vaccinated and encourages Texans to do the same every time the subject is discussed. His wife was a teacher. They are not anti-science. Let Biden call the decisions by Abbott and DeSantis “bad health policy” all he wants. States run by Republican governors are recovering from the pandemic at a faster clip than ones run by Democrat governors.

At the end of his formal remarks, Biden was asked by journalists at the White House whether the governors of Florida and Texas were harming their voters.

‘I believe the results of their decisions are not good for their constituents,’ said Biden.

‘And it’s clear to me and to most of the medical experts that the decisions being made – like not allowing mask mandates in school and the like – are bad health policy.’

As he left the East Room of the White House he was asked whether he would call Gov. Ron DeSantis personally

‘And say happy birthday or what?’ joked Biden.

Could Biden’s testiness be because of some recent polling showing his numbers slipping? In the latest CNBC All-America Economic Survey, Biden showed weakness in two key areas as the public’s views on the economy and the outlook for the virus soured. Ah-oh. It wasn’t a poll of a large number of people, relatively speaking, but of the 802 adults nationwide, 48% approved of the job Biden is doing, which is up a point from the first quarter, but his disapproval numbers grew to 45% from 41%. He’s going the wrong way. Maybe bumbling Joe should check himself on his handling of the pandemic.

The biggest change came in views on his handling of the coronavirus, where approval dropped 9 points to 53%; Biden’s economic approval fell to 42%, a decline of 4 points, or just beyond the poll’s 3.5-point margin of error.

“I think it all comes down to COVID,” said Jay Campbell, a partner at Hart Research Associates and Democratic pollster for the survey. “If the COVID situation had continued to improve the way it was improving in the first quarter, all of these numbers would look very different. And ultimately, someone has to be responsible for that. And right now it’s Joe Biden.”

The president’s ratings declined along with worsening views on the economy and the virus. The poll, conducted at the end of July, shows 51% of the public pessimistic about the economy and the outlook, the highest level since 2015. Just 22% give the economy positive marks and are optimistic.

“Surging Covid and rising inflation are creating a bleaker outlook throughout the next 12 months than we’ve measured since the 2008 recession,″ said Micah Roberts, partner with Public Opinion Strategies and the Republican pollster for the survey. “Forty-three percent say the economy will get worse in the next year, tied for the highest we have measured since June 2008.”

The outlook is bleak. We already know that Biden’s numbers are underwater over his handling of immigration and the border crisis his policies have created. None of this is good news for Democrats as we move into the mid-term elections. 73% of respondents to the poll are worried about new lockdowns, 55% are worried about mask mandates, and 50% said it could delay the return of workers to their offices. People are ready to get back to work and life as best as they can.