It was only a matter of time before Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis responded to the claim by the president who ran on unifying the nation that requiring private companies to ensure that all of their employees receive an experimental COVID-19 vaccine should not be divisive.
“Don’t make the vaccines divisive?” DeSantis said at a news conference Friday, with palms up and arms spread wide in a look of incredulity.
“You are trying to take people’s jobs away over this issue,” he said, addressing his remarks directly to Biden.
“You are trying to plunge people into destitution. You are taking away their livelihoods. Nobody else is doing that,” he continued.
“You are the one who is being divisive about this.”
“That’s why we continue to battle the misinformation that’s out there, and companies and communities are stepping up as well to combat the misinformation,” he said in televised remarks.
Meanwhile, as various vaccine-mandate deadlines loom, protests have erupted among federal and state workers, contractors and employees of private companies. Biden said Thursday the “misinformation” about the mandate and vaccines included the claim that the massive disruption of Southwest Airlines flights that began last weekend was due to his vaccine mandate. But many Southwest pilots have confirmed that they called in sick in protest of the company’s decision to abide by Biden’s mandate. And American Airlines experienced an unusually high rate of disruptions Thursday.
— Katie Daviscourt🇺🇸 (@KatieDaviscourt) October 15, 2021
‘You’re not divisive just because you don’t agree’
Establishment media often use the term “divisive” in their references to DeSantis, but when a Bloomberg TV host did it this week in an interview, she got pushback.
“Why is he inherently more divisive than, say, Gavin Newsom or someone on the other side of the spectrum?” responded entrepreneur David Sacks, who is raising funds for DeSantis.
Words such as “divisive” and “polarizing” are slapped on people who don’t align with the “information bubble” in which so many Americans reside, he said.
“I would argue that the country — there’s a multiplicity of views, and you’re not divisive just because you don’t agree with the orthodoxy of Silicon Valley,” he said, referring to social media.
Sacks said he likes DeSantis because he was “the first governor to stop these insane lockdowns, and he found the right policy on lockdowns, which was to stop them, and he did it despite an extremely hostile media.”
“When someone takes the right position on an issue despite the hostility of the media, that’s something I really respect,” he said.
Biden’s vaccine mandate was described this week in a letter to the president by a group of Ohio clergy representing more than 100 congregations as a “unilateral and divisive order” that is “unethical and tantamount to what a totalitarian king would dictate.”
“Furthermore Mr. President, with respect to your vaccine mandate, we respond by saying ‘We have no king but King Jesus,'” the pastors said, CBN reported.
The ministers pointed out to the president that he said on Dec. 4, 2020, that he would not impose a national vaccine mandate. And on Oct. 7, 2020, Vice President Kamala Harris stated she “would not take a COVID-19 vaccine if ordered by the president of the United States.”
A study by Harvard researchers across 68 countries found “no discernable relationship between percentage of population fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases.” In fact, the researchers said, countries with a higher percentage of the population fully vaccinated have a higher number of COVID-19 cases per 1 million people.
Florida, which removed its last COVID-19 mitigation policies six months ago, has seen its case rate plummet. Last month, it dropped 47% in a span of just two weeks, the biggest drop nationwide.
And according to the New York Times chart on Thursday, Florida’s case rate of 13 per 100,000 people was the third lowest in the nation, the Daily Wire reported.
See the Florida governor’s remarks:
NOW – Florida’s Gov. DeSantis accuses Biden to divide the country through vaccine mandates.pic.twitter.com/C6U7ur3LoS
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) October 15, 2021
‘Unity’ president ‘pushing divisive politics’
In his inauguration speech, Biden used the word “unity” eight times, but voters by a 54% to 37% margin said in a Fox News poll that the country is less unified under the Democratic president.
Biden’s approval rating, according to the Real Clear Politics average, is 43.9%, which is 10 points lower than President Obama’s at the same point in his presidency.
A Quinnipiac University poll released one week ago showed only 38% of Americans approve of his job performance.
“Battered on trust, doubted on leadership, and challenged on overall competency, President Biden is being hammered on all sides as his approval rating continues its downward slide to a number not seen since the tough scrutiny of the Trump administration,” said Quinnipiac polling analyst Tim Malloy.
Biden could easily boost his approval if his administration were to stop “pushing divisive politics” and focus on policies that help working people, wrote Tom Joyce of the New Boston Post in a column for the Washington Examiner.
Joyce, acknowledging Biden likely won’t take that advice, pointed to divisive policies such as forcing the government to pay for abortions abroad, requiring banks to report all transactions of $600 or more to the federal government and inserting itself into local school matters by promoting Critical Race Theory and sex “education” that includes teaching 12-year-olds how to “safely” have anal sex.
Joyce said Biden and many Democrats “are trying to win over a faction of people that will complain about them anyway but likely vote for them no matter what because they hate the other side.”
Biden is well aware of the sharp difference of opinion over universal COVID-19 vaccination, having scolded “80 million people” who had decided that the risks of taking an experimental vaccine with documented adverse events, including death, that came to market at least five times faster than ever before outweighed the benefit of protection from a virus with an overall infection fatality rate as low as one-tenth of 1%.
At the conclusion of his remarks Thursday, Biden turned his back on reporters who shouted questions and walked away.
See Biden’s remarks on the vaccine mandate:
Joe Biden on vaccine mandates:
“Vaccination requirements should not be another issue that divides us.” pic.twitter.com/uOzQPs9bmt
— The First (@TheFirstonTV) October 14, 2021
See Biden’s full remarks:
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