Biden ‘checking’ if he has power to impose school mask mandates

The White House may be preparing to launch an assault on states’ rights as Republican governors led by Ron DeSantis of Florida continue to be obstacles to the Biden administration’s efforts to force children into wearing masks in the classroom.

With kids now returning to schools, masking has become the latest front in the Democrats’ war on America using the coronavirus as the ultimate political weapon to further their radical agenda, and Team Biden would like nothing better than to inflict damage on DeSantis who is a serious contender for the White House in 2024.

On Monday, during a press conference to celebrate the bipartisan “infrastructure” deal that had just been reached thanks to 19 Republicans who joined their friends across the aisle to move the wasteful $1.2 trillion boondoggle forward, President Joe Biden responded to questions on school masking as well as his vaccination drive which, despite increasingly threatening rhetoric, remains stalled.

In that could be interpreted as a jab at DeSantis, Biden remarked; “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.”

He was then asked directly by a reporter about the administration’s “powers to intervene” in states including Texas and Florida where school mask mandates have been banned.

Biden responded; “I don’t believe that I do thus far. We’re checking that,” he said, “but there are… federal workforce, I can and uh, I think that people should understand, seeing little kids, four or five, six years old in hospitals on ventilators, and some of them passing – not many –  it’s almost, it’s just, well, I should not characterize beyond that,” stopping just short of accusing DeSantis of being responsible for the deaths of children.

His remarks come as Governor DeSantis faces resistance from school districts over his insistence that parents be free to choose whether their kids will wear masks, much of it coming from his state’s deep-blue strongholds like Broward County which has openly defied the ban on mask mandates.

DeSantis has gone so far as to state that superintendents and school board officials who insist on mask mandates will be subject to having their pay withheld.

According to a statement from the governor’s office: “With respect to enforcing any financial consequences for noncompliance of state law regarding these rules and ultimately the rights of parents to make decisions about their children’s education and health care decisions, it would be the goal of the State Board of Education to narrowly tailor any financial consequences to the offense committed. For example, the State Board of Education could move to withhold the salary of the district superintendent or school board members, as a narrowly tailored means to address the decision-makers who led to the violation of law.”

Regardless of whether Biden has the authority to intervene on the state level, he could act anyway like he did when he ignored the U.S. Supreme Court and extended the eviction moratorium last week.

Chris Donaldson

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