Brett Giroir Breaks With DeSantis, Abbott on Anti-Mask Mandate Orders: ‘They Would Not Like the Federal Government’ Doing This
Trump administration coronavirus testing czar Brett Giroir offered a rebuke to Republican governors who have taken steps to punish or prohibit local communities from instituting mask mandates.
CNN’s John Berman interviewed Giroir on Wednesday’s New Day — a conversation which began with Giroir applauding former President Barack Obama’s decision to scale down the massive 60th birthday party he had planned. From there, Berman asked Giroir for his opinion on former HHS Secretary Alex Azar — who recently wrote an op-ed about his inability to see how vaccine hesitancy would become politicized, and about how, in his view, former President Donald Trump should have gotten vaccinated on TV.
Giroir tepidly agreed that Trump getting vaccinated on camera could have made a difference:
I think we did try to do everything we could on vaccine hesitancy, and we often didn’t get the cooperation of national media when we did that. That being said, President Trump has a very large and loyal followership. I think anything he did and can do — including getting vaccinated on television — could be important. I get very nervous about even a president during medical procedures, doing that in public. I think we need to respect some of that privacy. But yes, I think President Trump has come out in favor of vaccines. Anything he could do to support that would be very well received and important at this critical time.
Berman went on to ask Giroir about CNN’s reporting that some school districts in Florida want to institute a mask mandate, but they don’t think they can now that Governor Ron DeSantis (R) is threatening to cut off funding to localities that do so. This news comes while Florida is experiencing a surge in Covid cases and a record high amount of hospitalizations.
In response, Giroir alluded to Texas — where Governor Greg Abbott has also prohibited local governments from mandating vaccines or masks. Giroir expressed that local communities in Florida, Texas and beyond should be allowed to make their own decisions for what they do about mask mandates.
This has been a vital and, I would say, a foundational principle of Republicans that local school districts should have autonomy. It should be about the parents in those local communities. I do support a lot of what Governor DeSantis and Governor Abbott do, but I don’t align with them on this. They would not like the federal government mandating things for their states and localities don’t like the governors mandating things that are reasonable public health issues that they would like to have implemented.
Watch above, via CNN.
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