President Biden yesterday warned governors to “get out of the way of the people that are trying to do the right thing” by imposing new mask mandates, requiring vaccine passports, and other COVID restrictions.
Biden called out Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, pointedly noting their states account for one-third of all new cases. DeSantis pushed back, saying that the media are “too focused on case counts” and scare people into avoiding hospitals, “deciding to forego needed medical procedures.”
Galen and Heritage Senior Fellow Doug Badger has a different take in a new post, “Why States Should Tune Out Washington’s COVID-19 Noise.”
“The federal government continues to offer garbled COVID-19 messages that undermine its credibility and sow confusion about the pandemic,” most recently with a “vax shaming campaign…that Biden calls a ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated,’” Badger writes in The Daily Signal.
Biden charges “that unvaccinated people ‘aren’t nearly as smart as I thought’ and alleges that they ‘get sick and fill up our hospitals,’ denying medical care to heart attack victims.”
But here are the facts: “According to the Department of Health and Human Services, of the nation’s more than 919,500 hospital beds, COVID-19-associated hospital admissions totaled just 944 on July 24. That compares with 6,679 such hospital admissions in early January.
“The administration’s vaccine campaign also has turned to coercion,” Badger says. He then explains why a centralized, federal role in fighting the pandemic is very much the wrong approach. He cites a recent Heritage paper he co-authored with Bob Moffit that “finds that the country benefited from policies adapted to the varied conditions of states and localities, a principal virtue of federalism.”