This is brilliant messaging from Biden in response to grandstanding, objectively pro-COVID Republican governors such as Ron DeSantis [via The Tampa Bay Times], who is preventing private businesses, public schools and local governments from putting COVID mitigation measures in place:
President Joe Biden delivered a stern message on Tuesday to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over the Republican’s opposition to mask mandates: “Get out of the way.”
“Look, we need leadership from everyone. If some governors aren’t willing to do the right thing to beat this pandemic, then they should allow businesses and universities who want to do the right thing to be able to do it,” Biden said in remarks about the pandemic. “I say to these governors please help. But if you are not 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.”
Psaki made similar remarks in a briefing:
White House press secretary Jen Psaki, in response to a question about DeSantis, said at her briefing on Tuesday, “Most Republican governors are doing exactly the right thing.”
“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.”
My political instincts aren’t especially sound, but I think a no-nonsense “get out of the way” message is exactly the right response to preening extremists like DeSantis, Abbot, et al. Wingnut governors are playing to the anti-vax, anti-mask minority, and hopefully alienating normal people in the process.
Ever since the new CDC guidance was issued, I’ve been thinking we need to inject more BLAME into the unfolding COVID narrative. We’re NOT all in this together. We wouldn’t be experiencing a surge if these fucking goobers had lined up for shots like we did. That’s a fact. The unvaccinated are the obstacle to returning to normal, and they are endangering all of us.
Biden has a tightrope to walk because he needs to convince the reachable unvaccinated to get a shot, so he has to be careful about what he says about ordinary people. But Republican governors are fair game, and telling them to get out of the way also implies that everyone is either part of the problem or part of the solution, which is the truth.