COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are soaring in Florida and Texas. One-third of the total new cases in the United States are alone accounted to those two states. It is clear that the strategy that the GOP Governors are executing is not working. People are dying every day because of their lack of emphatic leadership.
Even as the numbers show each day that Gov. Abbott and Gov. De Santis’ actions (or inactions) are not working to stop COVID-19, they continue to refuse to comply with the CDC guidelines and recommendations. Last week, Ted Cruz, another prominent Texan GOP leader, attacked the new recommendations made by the CDC to wear masks in indoor public spaces.
However, as their state’s health systems fall apart, hospitals are flooding with new patients and vaccination rates are plummeting below the national average. So in order to do divert attention from the main problem, the pair of governors have decided to shift the blame on illegal immigration.
President Biden asked both governors to help him tackle the problem, “I say to these governors, ‘Please, help.’ But if you aren’t going to help, at least get out of the way of the people who are trying to do the right thing.”
Asked by the comment made by President Biden, De Santis wasn’t able to come with a good come back and stated, “He’s not shutting down the virus. He’s helping facilitate it,” DeSantis said of Biden. “Why don’t you get this border secure,” DeSantis added. “Until you do that, I don’t want to hear a blip about COVID from you.”
Gov. Abbott also refuses to impose a new mask mandate and to take action to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, going as far as to say that “lockdowns are wrong during the course of a pandemic” and that “there will not be any government-imposed shutdowns or mask mandates” in Texas.
COVID isn’t the topic the GOP wants to talk about, so both governors, Abbott and De Santis, in a bizarre display of “whataboutism,” have sought to shift the emphasis to a narrative they prefer. They didn’t even innovate with the issue they tried to divert attention to, they talked about immigration and blamed soaring COVID cases on it, but the reality is that the Lone Star state and the Sunshine state are failing to contain the pandemic, and people are losing their lives because of it.
Finally, there’s no use in taking DeSantis’ and Abbotts’ rhetoric seriously as a meaningful argument because it isn’t. The governors lack a strategy to address their own state’s escalating public-health issue; they oppose initiatives that may assist for solely political reasons, and then they dare act all defensive when the president exposes their apathy.