During his speech announcing vaccine mandates on Thursday, President Joe Biden declared war on Republican governors Ron DeSantis (FL) and Greg Abbott (TX) as he threatened to use his own presidential power to overrule their authority if they try and rebel against his vaccination plans.

“This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Biden said, according to Fox News. “And it’s caused by the fact that despite America having [an] unprecedented and successful vaccination program, despite the fact that for almost five months, free vaccines have been available in more than 80,000 different locations, we still have nearly 80 million Americans who have failed to get the shot.”

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That’s when Biden shifted to attacking the governors who he feels are not properly enforcing his strict COVID-19 rules.

“And to make matters worse, there are elected officials actively working to undermine the fight against COVID-19,” he said. “Instead of encouraging people to get vaccinated and mask up, they’re ordering mobile morgues for the unvaccinated dying from COVID in their communities.

“Right now, local school officials are trying to keep children safe in a pandemic while their governor picks a fight with them and even threatens their salaries or their jobs. Talk about bullying in schools,” Biden added. “If they’ll not help, if these governors won’t help us beat the pandemic, I’ll use my power as president to get them out of the way.”

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Biden went on to promise to reimburse teachers “whose pay is withheld from doing the right thing” by enforcing his administration’s mask mandates.

“We will have that pay restored by the federal government, 100 percent. I promise you. I will have your back,” he said.

This was a specific dig at DeSantis, who recently ordered schools in his state not to enforce mask mandates. He proceeded to threaten to withhold the salaries of officials in the thirteen Florida school districts that voted to defy his order by requiring masks.

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DeSantis said through a spokesperson that he has no intention to respond to Biden’s speech right now, as he is “focused on working for the people of Florida and not getting into petty food fights.”

“And I think that the more and more this has become coercive, where people have threatened mandates and firing and business consequences, the more it does that, I think the more people it alienates,” DeSantis himself said. “I don’t think it actually helps to get more people to ultimately do it, but I do not believe that people should lose their jobs over this issue, and we will fight that.”

“If they try to do that through a rule like the Department of Labor, I don’t think they have the legal authority to do that, but we obviously would want to support protections for people who were just trying to earn a living,” he continued.

Meanwhile, in Texas, Abbott signed an executive order banning schools from imposing mask mandates and allowing individuals to make the decision on whether or not to wear masks.

Abbott responded to Biden’s speech on Twitter, writing, “Biden’s vaccine mandate is an assault on private businesses. I issued an Executive Order protecting Texans’ right to choose whether they get the COVID vaccine & added it to the special session agenda. Texas is already working to halt this power grab.”

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DeSantis and Abbott have spent this pandemic fighting for the rights of individuals, and they will continue to do so even as Biden tries to control every aspect of our lives. Despite what Biden says, individuals should have the freedom to decide whether they get vaccinated or wear a mask.

Thank God that we at least have some leaders who understand that.

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