President Biden criticized Texas and Mississippi decision for recently lifting statewide mask mandates, calling it a “big mistake” and blasted the two Republican governors decisions as “Neanderthal thinking.”
“Texas, I think it’s a big mistake. Look, I hope everybody has realized by now — These masks make a difference,” Biden said when asked if he has a message to Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves’ who recently lifted its states’ mask mandates.
“We are on the cusp of being able to fundamentally change the nature of this disease. The last thing, the last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime, everything’s fine, take off your mask, forget it. It still matters,” Biden added.
In stoking fear, Biden said that thousands more COVID deaths would occur due to the governors dropping its restrictions and urged Americans to continue to wear masks and follow all public health guidelines.
“It’s critical, critical, critical, critical that they follow the science. Wash your hands, hot water. Do it frequently, wear a mask, and stay socially distanced. And I know you all know that. I wish the heck some of our elected officials knew it.”
Biden in his first day in office signed an executive order requiring mandatory mask-wearing on federal property as well as traveling to and from states, but has little authority to overrule governors and other state officials orders.
White House press secretary, Jen Psaki during Wednesday’s daily press briefing called on both Republican states to not only follow Biden but as well as his flip-flopping medical officials such as Dr. Fauci’s recommendations over their own governors.
“The President’s position on mask-wearing is based on the recommendations of health and medical experts and their views that it could save 50,000 lives. That is why he asked the American people to wear masks for 100 days,” Psaki said.
“For nearly a year, we’ve been dealing and navigating and coping with this pandemic across the country. And this entire country has paid the price for political leaders who ignored the science when it comes to the pandemic,” Psaki added. “And a year into this that feels better, but there’s still more work that needs to be done. We need to remain vigilant, and he believes that, and he’s hopeful, that people in these states will continue to follow the guidelines that have been set out and the recommendations made by health and medical experts.”
The press secretary also said that she is sure Biden at the “next opportunity” will raise this issue to both governors for lifting public health restrictions too quickly.
On Tuesday, the Lone Star State made the most expansive move amid the pandemic with Abbott announcing that it was “now time to open Texas 100 percent.” Shortly after Abbott’s announcement, Reeves followed suit in also ending his state’s mask mandate and allowing businesses to reopen at full capacity. Both governors in announcing their decisions cited the declining number of new Covid-19 cases in their states and the increasing availability of vaccines as reasons for ending the restrictions.
In response to the president’s remarks to reporters, Reeves slammed Biden on Twitter Wednesday.
“President Biden said allowing Mississippians to decide how to protect themselves is ‘neanderthal thinking.’ Mississippians don’t need handlers,” Reeves wrote in a tweet. “As numbers drop, they can assess their choices and listen to experts. I guess I just think we should trust Americans, not insult them.”
President Biden said allowing Mississippians to decide how to protect themselves is “neanderthal thinking.”
Mississippians don’t need handlers. As numbers drop, they can assess their choices and listen to experts. I guess I just think we should trust Americans, not insult them.
— Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) March 3, 2021
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) rebuked Biden for his comments.
“President Biden has a lot of problems to take care of. He’s got a crisis at the border that he calls a challenge and not a crisis,” Cornyn said in a press conference Wednesday. “So I don’t think he’s got a lot to say about preaching to my state about how we’ve handled this Covid-19 virus.”