Biden hits back as Florida GOP defunds schools that mask up: 'We will do everything we can' to protect teachers

On Friday, President Joe Biden took to Twitter to vow his administration would work to help school districts in Florida that are being defunded by state Republicans for enacting mask mandates.

"We will do everything we can to support local school districts in safely reopening schools," said Biden. "American Rescue Plan funds can be used to backfill the salaries of the brave Florida school board members, superintendents, and other educators keeping our children safe."

Biden's statement comes after Richard Corcoran, the Florida Education Commissioner, announced funds would be withheld from Broward and Alachua County public schools — two of the first districts to announce mask mandates in defiance of Gov. Ron DeSantis' executive order prohibiting such rules. This makes good on a threat DeSantis has made repeatedly.

Republicans in several states are trying to block local mask and vaccine guidance. In Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey (R-AZ) has said that $163 million in federal funds will only go to schools without such mandates — which Biden administration officials have warned could be illegal.