- NEW YORK POST - AUG 10, 2021 - Samuel Chamberlain and David Marcus -
President Biden said Tuesday that his administration is examining whether he can order universal masking in public schools, overriding Republican governors in states like Florida and Texas.
“I don’t believe that I do [have that power], thus far,” Biden told reporters during an event in the East Room of the White House. “We’re checking that.”
Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended masking for all students, faculty, staff and visitors in K-12 schools due to the spread of the Delta variant.
However, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has dismissed the CDC recommendation. After initially banning school districts from imposing mask mandates and suggesting funding cuts for those that do require masking, the governor suggested Monday that the state could “move to withhold the salary” of local officials who make face coverings mandatory.
DeSantis has insisted that parents should get the final say on whether their kids wear masks in schools, not government or public health officials.
Biden did not mention DeSantis by name Tuesday, but described his actions as “disingenuous.”
“When I suggest that people, in zones where there is a high risk, wear the masks like you all are doing, I’m told that government should get out of the way and not do that, they don’t have the authority to do that,” he mused aloud to reporters. “And I find it interesting that some of the very people who are saying that, who hold government positions, are people who are threatening that if a school teacher asks a student if they’ve been vaccinated, or if a principal says that ‘everyone in my school should wear a mask,’ or the school board votes for it, that governor will nullify that.
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