Biden calls Florida school superintendent to praise mask mandate despite state orders

President Biden called the Broward County Schools interim superintendent Friday to express his support of the district's mask mandate in defiance of Gov. Ron DeSantis's (R) executive order, the Miami Herald reported.

Biden told interim superintendent Vickie Cartwright that he applauded her "leadership and courage to do the right thing for the health and well-being of their students, teachers and schools, according to the Herald. Biden also told Cartwright that his administration "stands ready to support their school districts and communities to get back to safe, full-time, in-person learning," the Herald noted.

The call came a day after the Biden administration offered to pay the salaries of Florida school board members who lost funds as a result of implementing mask mandates against DeSantis's order. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Biden and DeSantis went back and forth earlier this week over their differences regarding mask mandates. Biden rebuked the Florida governor Tuesday afternoon, saying "we need leadership from everyone and if some governors aren’t willing to do the right thing to beat this pandemic, then they should allow businesses and universities who want to do the right thing to be able to do it."

The governor hit back at Biden's comments the following day.

"Joe Biden suggests that if you don’t do lockdown policies, then you should ‘get out of the way.’ But let me tell you this: If you’re coming after the rights of parents in Florida, I’m standing in your way. I’m not going to let you get away with it,” DeSantis said.

Broward County voted 8-1 to retain its mask mandate Tuesday and is seeking legal counsel to challenge the governor's ban.