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12 Aug, 2021 20:33

Biden lauds officials who defy governors’ anti-mandate policies as ‘heroes’ amid escalating war with GOP over Covid-19 measures

Biden lauds officials who defy governors’ anti-mandate policies as ‘heroes’ amid escalating war with GOP over Covid-19 measures

Washington’s Covid-19 political gamesmanship has escalated, with Joe Biden praising local officials who defy governors over mask mandates and Republicans debuting a bill making states with vaccine passports also require voter ID.

President Biden told reporters on Thursday that mayors, school superintendents and other officials who are ignoring gubernatorial orders against mask mandates are “heroes.” He added, “Thank God that we have heroes like you. And I stand with you all, and America should as well.”

Biden and White House press secretary Jen Psaki have gone back and forth with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over the past week, accusing him of politicizing the Covid-19 pandemic and taking steps that are “counter to public health recommendations.” Among those steps was the Republican governor’s order that schools let parents decide on whether their children will wear masks.

Also on rt.com Florida Gov. DeSantis vows to ‘stand in the way’ of Biden lockdowns and mask mandates

At one point, Biden took a jab by pretending not to know who DeSantis was, responding to a reporter’s question by saying, “Governor who?” He previously called on DeSantis and other Republican governors to “get out of the way” and quit resisting his administration’s Covid-19 edicts. In a viral video, DeSantis retorted, “Well I guess I’m not surprised that Biden doesn’t remember me. I guess the question is what else has he forgotten?”

DeSantis hasn’t been alone in resisting the White House’s Covid-19 guidelines. But unlike those guidelines, the state executive orders and legislation that Biden has encouraged local officials to violate have the force of law. At least eight states with Republican governors have enacted bans on school mask mandates. On the other hand, at least 10 states with Democrat governors have imposed statewide orders that require school districts to mandate masks for all students and staffers.

Also on rt.com Iowa gov & others dismiss new CDC mask guidance: ‘Not grounded in reality or common sense’

Further illustrating the political divide, Senator Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota) and Representative Nancy Mace (R-South Carolina) introduced legislation on Thursday that would require states and local jurisdictions that force residents to require proof of vaccination to also demand that citizens show identification to vote. The aim of the Senate and House bills is to show the apparent lack of logic in making people show vaccine passports to enter public places while opposing ID requirements to vote.

“It makes no sense for Democrats to adamantly oppose common-sense Voter ID policies which protect the integrity of our elections,” Cramer said in a statement. “If they’re comfortable making people show their private medical records to simply go to a restaurant, they should be fine having people prove they are who they say they are before they vote. Our legislation shines a light on their hypocrisy.”

Biden has previously called such election security measures, including voter ID, passed by Republican-controlled state legislatures, “the most dangerous threat to voting and the integrity of free and fair elections in our history.”

Mace has argued that showing an ID is a basic part of American life – whether accessing public benefits, getting a job or buying alcohol or a prescription. “States who mandate vaccine passports should be just as rigorous when it comes to something as important as protecting the right to vote,” she said.

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