Biden called on state leaders to take control of the pandemic, especially in states like Florida and Texas, which are seeing an explosive number of new coronavirus cases in the past week, according to CNN.
“Please help: if you aren’t going to help, please get out of the way of the people who are trying to do the right thing," Biden pleaded Tuesday (August 3).
In response, DeSantis held firm on his position to not reintroduce mask mandates, public health guidance, or any other COVID-19 related restrictions on the state. He even blamed the rapid spread of the Delta variant on Biden and the lax enforcement at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Joe Biden suggests if you don’t do locked down policies then you should ‘get out of the way.’ But let me tell you this, if you are coming after the rights of parents in Florida, I’m standing in your way,” DeSantis said Wednesday (August 4). He also called out the media for focusing on the "bad news" surrounding his state in recent weeks.
The Sunshine State broke a new record for COVID-19 hospitalizations in a single day earlier this week, surpassing numbers before the vaccines were widely available.
DeSantis also pushed back on federal health authorities' recommendations for kids under 12 that haven't been vaccinated -- that they should wear masks in class.
The Florida governor faced backlash after threatening to revoke school districts' funding if they instituted mask mandates ahead of the new school year. Local officials are also limited on placing COVID-19 penalties thanks to a bill passed by the Florida state legislature last year. Some districts plan on defying the governor's orders.