Biden says he agrees with GOP governors: there is ‘no federal solution’ to pandemic
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President Biden during a call with governors on Monday said he agreed with two GOP state leaders that there was no one-size-fits-all approach to mitigating COVID-19, even though his administration advocates major federal solutions to the pandemic which lasts almost two years old.
Biden made the comment after Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who is president of the National Governors Association, warned the president against any action that could trample states in their goal of tackling the virus .
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“A word of concern or encouragement for your team is that when looking for federal solutions that will help alleviate the challenge, make sure we don’t let federal solutions get in the way of state solutions,” Hutchinson said. “The output of 500 million rapid tests that will be distributed by the federal government is excellent, but it is obviously drying up the supply chain of solutions that we might come up with as governor.”
“There is no federal solution. It resolves at the state level,” Biden replied, before mentioning another Republican governor.
“I watch [New Hampshire] Govt. [Chris] Sununu on the board here. He talks about it a lot, “Biden said.” And it ultimately comes down to where the rubber meets the road and that’s where the patient needs help, or prevents the need for help. “
Biden, however, has placed the federal government in a central role in pandemic mitigation measures. The Education Department has launched civil rights investigations in several states to ban school mask warrants. The president continues to impose masks on airports, planes and public transport – and his administration has increased fines for those who fail to comply.
And the administration is currently going to the Supreme Court to defend its vaccine mandate for any private company with more than 100 employees.
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In Monday’s phone call, the president expressed confidence in the ability of the United States to handle the omicron variant, saying it is “a cause for concern, but it should not be a source of panic.” .
“It’s not like March 2020, the start of the pandemic. We are prepared and we know what it takes to save lives, protect people and keep schools and businesses open,” Biden added. “My message to the governors is simple. If you need anything, say something.”
Sam Dorman of Fox News contributed to this report.
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