On Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki criticized the Republican governors of Texas and Florida for their opposition to President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
Psaki attacked the governors for “putting politics ahead of public health.”
Psaki made her comments at White House’s daily briefing.
A reporter asked Psaki about the Biden administration’s response to Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott issuing an executive order banning vaccine mandates – in defiance of Biden’s executive order requiring that businesses with 100 or more employees must get vaccinated.
Psaki was asked if her administration would sue Texas.
She took the opportunity to attack the two leading red states.
“These requirements are promulgated by federal law, so when the president announced his vaccine mandates for businesses — that, of course, we’re waiting on OSHA regulations for as a next step — that was pursuant to federal law,” Psaki replied.
Psaki added, “Our intention is to implement and continue to work to implement these requirements across the country, including in the states where there are attempts to oppose them.”
Abbott issued his executive order on Monday that prohibits any entities in Texas from forcing vaccine mandates.
On Tuesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he is considering a law that would prevent workers from being fired if they went against the vaccine requirements.
Psaki said both GOP governors were “putting politics ahead of public health.”
“Over 700,000 American lives have been lost due to COVID-19, including more than 56,000 in Florida and over 68,000 in Texas, and every leader should be focused on supporting efforts to save lives and end the pandemic,” she said.
Psaki added, “Why would you be taking steps that prevent the saving of lives, that make it more difficult to save lives across the country or in any state?”
The White House press secretary vowed that Biden would use “every lever at his disposal” to make sure Americans got vaccinated.
Though Biden announced on September 9th that he would be issuing an executive order that would force vaccine mandates, it is not in place at the moment.
So far the White House, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, nor the Department of Labor have issued any official guidelines or details for a federal vaccine mandate.
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