Biden took a swipe at Republican governors in Texas and Mississippi Wednesday, accusing them of “Neanderthal thinking” following their decision to reverse COVID safety policies, including mask mandates.
“We’ve been able to move that all the way up to the end of May to have enough [vaccines] for every American, to get every adult American to get a shot,” Biden told reporters from the White House Wednesday. “The last thing we need is the Neanderthal thinking.”
Despite the warning issued by health officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding a fourth resurgence in coronavirus cases earlier this week, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said all state regulations would be lifted starting Wednesday.
Similarly, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott pointed to lower case counts and the increase in vaccine accessibility as justification to revoke all state-imposed coronavirus regulations starting March 10.
GOV. ABBOTT: “The two things, Brian. First, it obviously is not the type of thing that the president should be saying. But, second, he kind of said it on the worst day he could have, because the same day he said that in Texas, the Biden administration was releasing illegal immigrants into our communities who had COVID. The Biden administration was spreading COVID in south Texas yesterday because of their lack of constraint of testing and quarantining people who come across the border illegally. The Biden administration was exposing Texans to COVID. That is a Neanderthal type approach to dealing with the COVID situation.”
But, more importantly, with regard to the masks, the change in Texas really wasn’t all that much different from where we were before for a couple of reasons. First, we are still strongly advocating that every Texan follow the best practice. Where we are today is completely different from where we were this time last year when Texans and Americans didn’t know how to deal with this for an entire year. Texans have learned the best practice, and that is to wear a mask. And we still strongly recommend that people do wear a mask.
“When we saw the spikes in cases after Christmas and New Years, we saw that most of those spikes didn’t occur in businesses or in schools or in other locations like that, like retail centers. Most of those transmissions occurred in the home setting where people were not wearing a mask in the first place.
And, so, the mask requirement being eliminated isn’t going to make that big of a change in the state of Texas. Also, people in Texas will continue to wear masks, even though there’s not a state mandate. We are just in a situation now where government mandates are not needed because Texans do know the best practices.”
Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.
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