White House press secretary blasts Texas and Florida governors on Covid surge: 'Get out of the way'

White House press secretary blasts Texas and Florida governors on Covid surge: 'Get out of the way'
(Official White House Photo by Cameron Smith)
Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a Press Briefing on Thursday, June 3, 2021, in the James S. Brady White House Press Briefing Room.

The White House is blasting several Republican governors whose efforts are actively making the coronavirus pandemic worse.

Press Secretary Jen Psaki made clear on Tuesday that "most" of the GOP governors are working to combat COVID but she pointedly singled out two states, Florida and Texas, whose governors' actions are harming the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

One reporter noted New York City's impending rule that will require proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, gyms, bars, and other spaces, then mentioned how Florida's coronavirus cases are exploding.

"Governor DeSantis in Florida is taking a very different approach than New York is. Florida just hit another record today on COVID cases. And yet he's pushing back on local municipalities that are trying to impose new mask mandates and other means of keeping people protected. Does the White House have any reaction to Governor DeSantis and particularly to his point that this is just 'seasonal' in Florida because people are hot so they're staying indoors and transmitting the vaccine?"

Psaki did not hold back.

"Well the data just doesn't back that up," she declared. "I would say first is that Florida is not the only state – seven states have both a statewide ban on mask mandates and a prohibition on school districts from requiring masks in schools, and some states have even banned businesses and universities from requiring workers and students to be vaccinated."

"In fact the most extreme of these measures is in Texas, where you can be fined. A Professor or teacher can be fined if they ask a student if they are vaccinated, or if they ask unvaccinated students to wear masks, and I think the fundamental question we have is, what are we doing here?"

"I will note," Psaki continued, "most Republican governors are doing exactly the right thing and doing and advocating for and taking steps to advocate for more people to get vaccinated, but if you aren't going to help if you aren't going to abide by public health guidance, then get out of the way and let people do the right thing to lead in their communities, whether they are teachers, university leaders, private sector leaders or others who are trying to save lives."

Her remarks were so on target that they made the local news:

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