WASHINGTON, D.C. – Republicans were highly critical of a comment that President Joe Biden made on Monday that there is “no federal solution” for COVID-19, instead stating that the ball should be in the court of individual U.S. states when it comes to combating the nearly two-year old pandemic. The comment drew the ire of GOP members, with many insisting that federal mask and vaccination mandates should be brought to an end as a result.
Biden was on a call with governors Monday when he responded to a comment by Arkansas GOP Governor Asa Hutchinson regarding potential federal solutions to the pandemic as the country wrestles with the latest surge in COVID-19 cases driven by the new highly-contagious Omicron variant.
“One word of concern or encouragement for your team is that as you look towards federal solutions that will help alleviate the challenge, make sure that we do not let federal solutions stand in the way of state solutions,” Hutchinson said. “The production of 500 million rapid tests that will be distributed by the federal government is great, but obviously that dries up the supply chain for the solutions that we might offer as governor.”Arkansas GOP Governor Asa Hutchinson
“Look, there is no federal solution. This gets solved at the state level,” Biden responded. “And then it ultimately gets down to where the rubber meets the road, and that’s where the patient is in need of help or preventing the need for help.”President Joe Biden
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Biden had sworn during the 2020 presidential campaign to “shut down the virus,” something that the Republican National Committee (RNC) reminded him of in a tweet, referring to the president as a “hypocrite.”
“Joe Biden claimed he would shut down the virus,” the RNC said. “Now a year later when he failed to do so, he says there is no federal solution to COVID. Joe Biden is a hypocrite.”
Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK) stated on Twitter that Biden should undo his masking and vaccination mandates if he truly believes that no federal solution exists to ending the pandemic.
“When Joe Biden says “there is no federal solution,” he’s trying to avoid blame for his incompetence. If he really believes this, he should rescind his unconstitutional federal mandates,” Cotton said in a two-part tweet. “There’s no federal solution, but the fed government can help by securing the border, approving safe treatments & tests, and appointing competent leaders at the FDA & CDC. Biden opened the border, botched testing, and outsourced CDC’s guidance to the teachers’ unions.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ press secretary, Christina Pushaw, tweeted a video montage of Biden’s campaign pledge to “shut down the virus,” ending with the statement he made on Monday.
“What a difference a year makes,” Pushaw added.