Biden says Republican governors are undermining COVID security response
Sept. 16 (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden on Thursday directed his anger at the governors of Florida and Texas, accusing Republican leaders of “doing everything possible to undermine the vital demands” he proposed to counter the spread of COVID-19.
Some Republican governors, including Greg Abbott of Texas and Ron DeSantis of Florida, have pledged to fight the vaccine mandate for big business that Biden rolled out last week amid the surge in hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 in the United States, mainly among the unvaccinated.
Earlier this week, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves compared Biden’s tenure to tyranny.
“I’m proposing a requirement for COVID vaccines, and the governor of this state calls it a ‘tyrannical type move? “” Biden said, noting that the pandemic has killed more than 660,000 people in the United States.
“This is the worst kind of policy… and I refuse to give in to it,” Biden said, adding that the policies deployed by the White House are “what science tells us to do.”
Some Republican-led states and a sizable minority of Americans have defied vaccine recommendations from health officials, arguing that the warrants infringe their personal freedoms.
With only 63% of the eligible U.S. population having received at least one dose of the vaccine, the U.S. immunization rate now lags most developed economies.
Biden’s vaccine policy is set to face a series of legal challenges from Republicans, including Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who became the first to file a lawsuit against her on Tuesday.
DeSantis has threatened cities and counties that require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with fines, claiming they violate Florida state law.
Reporting by Nandita Bose; Writing by Tyler Clifford; Editing by Heather Timmons and Bill Berkrot
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