President Joe Biden on Monday agreed with Republican governors that there is no “federal solution” to the Covid pandemic and urged states to take the lead, Fox News reports.
Biden on Monday met with the National Governors Association to discuss the pandemic response as Omicron infections continue to skyrocket.
Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, the group’s chairman, warned Biden against stepping on states’ toes in the government response.
"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."
"There is no federal solution. This gets solved at the state level," Biden agreed during the meeting.
Biden has vowed to send 500 million at-home Covid tests to Americans next month, while acknowledging it is not nearly enough, and expand test facilities and deploy 1,000 military medical professionals to help staff hospitals facing worker shortages. But Biden urged governors to take the lead on efforts to combat the spread of Omicron.
"This is not like March of 2020, the beginning of the pandemic. We're prepared and we know what it takes to save lives, protect people and keep schools and businesses open," Biden said. "My message to the governors is simple. If you need something, say something."
GOP calls Biden “hypocrite”:
"Joe Biden claimed he would shut down the virus. Now a year later when he failed to do so, he says there is no federal solution to COVID. Joe Biden is a hypocrite," the Republican National Committee said on its Twitter account.
Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton accused Biden of seeking to avoid blame for the worsening numbers.
"When Joe Biden says ‘there is no federal solution,’ he's trying to avoid blame for his incompetence," Cotton tweeted. "If he really believes this, he should rescind his unconstitutional federal mandates."