President Joe Biden said he is “checking” on if his presidential powers could give him the ability to intervene in states banning mask mandates.
“I don’t believe that I do thus far. We’re checking that,” Biden said Tuesday when asked if he could intervene in states such as Texas and Florida that have banned mask mandates. “But there are — federal workforce, I can.”
Biden’s remarks came after he addressed the issue of states that have banned public schools districts from imposing mask mandates for the upcoming school year. The president called such efforts “disingenuous,” arguing governors should allow districts to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
“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 schoolteacher asks a student if they have 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 — that governor has the authority to say, ‘You can’t do that,’” Biden said.
“I find that totally counterintuitive and, quite frankly, disingenuous,” he added.
Although Biden didn’t single out any specific governor by name, the president has recently been embroiled in a war of words with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
DeSantis has threatened to withhold funding from Florida school districts that require masking, with Biden responding by telling the governor to “get out of the way” of local districts that are attempting to stop the spread of COVID-19 and the highly infectious Delta variant.