- Biden told some governors to “get out of the way” if they aren’t going to help with COVID-19.
- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hit back at Biden Wednesday, telling him to do his job at the border.
- The number of migrants at the border is surging, while states like Florida and Texas face COVID-19 outbreaks.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis snapped at President Joe Biden during a press conference on Wednesday after the White House criticized the state’s handling of COVID-19.
On Tuesday, Biden singled out Florida and Texas, which together account for roughly a third of all COVID-19 cases in the US.
“Some governors aren’t willing to do the right things to make this happen,” Biden told reporters, without mentioning the governors by name, according to USA Today. “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.”
DeSantis, a Republican, signed an order last week to prohibit masks from being required in schools, threatening to strip funding from schools that do. Meanwhile, Florida is experiencing one of the worst outbreaks in the country, with a surge in cases and record-breaking hospitalizations driven by the more infectious Delta variant.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday, DeSantis said Biden is trying to “single out Florida over COVID.”
“This is a guy who ran for president saying he was going to, quote, shut down the virus,” DeSantis said. “And what has he done? He’s imported more virus from around the world by having a wide-open southern border.”
“Why don’t you do your job? Why don’t you get this border secure, and until you do that, I don’t want to hear a blip about COVID from you,” he continued before abruptly leaving the mic.
-The Recount (@therecount) August 4, 2021
Republican lawmakers have blasted the Biden administration over the surge in migrants traveling to the southern border. More than 188,000 migrants arrived at the border in June, the most of any month in recent history.
Some border communities have also experienced an uptick in COVID-19 cases, prompting increased pressure on Biden to address the situation. The Department of Homeland Security announced Friday it resumed fast-track deportation flights to Central America for migrants who could not be deported under Title 42.
Title 42 is a controversial order first invoked under President Donald Trump to quickly expel migrants without allowing them to apply for asylum due to COVID-19 risks. The administration said Monday it would continue to apply Title 42 to deport migrants.