President Joe Biden went after Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis by name on August 3rd (along with Texas Governor Gregg Abbott) over their handling of the COVID-19 Delta variant outbreaks in their states. These governors believe that individuals should be free to make up their own minds about wearing masks and getting vaccinated rather than being dictated to with arbitrary mandates. Biden does not agree.
“I say to these governors, ‘Please, help.’ But 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,” Biden pontificated.
Governor DeSantis fired back with a put-down that cut right through Biden’s hypocrisy. DeSantis responded to Biden’s call for the governor to get out of the way by saying that he has no intention of doing so if Biden harbors any thoughts of going after the rights of Floridians.
“Joe Biden…believes that vaccinations should be mandated by force of government and that you should have to show vaccination status to be able to participate in society,” DeSantis said at his August 4th news conference. “He wants that, but yet if you want to vote, he thinks it’s too much of a burden to show a picture I.D. when you’re voting. So no voter I.D., but have to show your medical papers just to be able to live an every day life? Give me a break. So I think the question is: we can either have a free society or we can have a bio-medical security state. And I can tell you, Florida, we’re a free state.”
Referring to Biden’s open border policies allowing thousands of COVID-19-positive illegal immigrants to enter and remain in the United States, DeSantis added that Biden has “imported more virus from around the world by having a wide-open southern border. You have hundreds of thousands of people pouring across every month.”
DeSantis noted that many of the illegal immigrants are being sent to communities all across the country without any concern about whether these immigrants will be spreaders of COVID-19. DeSantis charged that as a result of all the coronavirus variants around the world potentially coming into the United States via the illegal immigrant carriers, Biden is “not shutting down the virus, he’s helping to facilitate it in our country.” That kind of plain talk is just what we need to put Biden and his “expert” enablers in their place.
DeSantis closed his remarks by telling Biden to do his job. “Why don’t you get this border secure? And until you do this, I don’t want to hear a blip about COVID from you,” DeSantis said.
Fox News reported several days ago that more than 7,000 COVID-positive migrants have been released into the Texas border city of McAllen alone since February, according to city officials. There were “more than 1,500 in the past week – the latest example of growing concern about the potential impact of the border crisis on efforts to control COVID-19 in the U.S.”
Since the Biden administration has done virtually nothing to address the border crisis, McAllen has taken it upon itself to build new temporary shelters to try and curb a super spreader disaster in the making.
The Biden administration is finally talking about vaccinating migrants as they are taken into custody for processing by Customs and Border Protection (CBP). But so far, it’s just talk. And how about all of the illegal immigrants crossing the border everyday who manage to elude border officials?
Florida has experienced a dramatic upsurge of Delta variant cases in recent weeks, to be sure. But the rate of full vaccinations in Florida could not be the primary reason. Updated comparative statistics show that the overall rate in the United States for full vaccination is 50 percent as of August 9, 2021. California’s rate for full vaccination is slightly higher, at 53 percent. Florida’s rate for full vaccination is 49 percent. Florida is by no means an extreme case of an under-vaccinated state population.
Only mandate fanatics would argue that Florida’s slightly lower full vaccination rate when compared to the United States as a whole or to California would explain what Florida is currently experiencing.
In any event, trend lines tell a different story. The Delta variant may have gotten its initial foothold in the South, but its path is rapidly changing.
Former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb pointed out during his August 8th interview on “Face the Nation” that “the rate of growth in the cases in the South is starting to decline.” He added that “the epidemic is clearly slowing in states like Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri.” Dr. Gottlieb noted the opposite trend beginning to take place in northern states. Like previous iterations of the virus, the Delta variant, Dr. Gottlieb said, is “going to sweep across the nation at different points in time.”
Despite California’s slightly higher vaccination rate than Florida’s and the mask mandates in various parts of California, the Delta variant is sweeping over California at an accelerating pace. “California is seeing a level of daily infection higher than at any point during last summer’s surge,” the Los Angeles Times reported on August 6th.
Governor DeSantis has been looking out for both the health and the economic well-being of Floridians. They are not mutually exclusive.
Moreover, DeSantis doesn’t tell Floridians that they must put on masks in restaurants while not doing so himself. But that’s precisely what California’s Governor Gavin Newsom did when he attended a fancy dinner at the luxurious French Laundry restaurant last November and didn’t wear a mask in violation of his own coronavirus protocols.
There are trade-offs between strict COVID-19 mandates and the number of jobs those mandates will likely cost. When you look at the unemployment rates of Florida, a state free of job-killing mandates, and of restrictive blue states like California, the difference is striking.
The latest individual state unemployment statistics are for June 2021. Florida’s June unemployment rate was 5 percent. California’s unemployment rate came in at 7.7 percent.
These numbers speak for themselves. It’s possible for “free states” to fight this virus without wrecking the economy in the process.
Instead of shifting blame to state governors who are trying to protect the health and jobs of their citizens at the same time, President Biden would do well to concentrate on stopping the carriers of the COVID-19 variants from entering this country illegally and infecting Americans.
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