“I think it’s a big mistake. Look, I hope everybody’s realized by now, these masks make a difference,” Biden said when directly asked about the two states.
Despite a promise that vaccines will be available for every American by May, Biden said masks are as important as ever.
“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,” he said, then referencing a card he claims to carry with him that has the daily death toll from Covid-19.
“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,” he added.
Many prominent liberals have blasted the governors of Texas and Mississippi for moving away from lockdown restrictions, despite both states still continuing vaccine distribution plans. Some, like filmmaker Michael Moore and political commentator Keith Olbermann, have even suggested that Texas residents should not be afforded the vaccine following Gov. Greg Abbott’s announcement this week.
Biden’s “Neanderthal thinking” remark, however, has earned pushback from many, including the governor of Mississippi, who slammed the “insult” from the president.
“President Biden said allowing Mississippians to decide how to protect themselves is ‘neanderthal thinking,’” Gov. Tate Reeves tweeted in response to Biden. “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.”
On his state reopening, Gov. Abbott said this week that his announcement “doesn’t abandon safe practices that Texans have mastered” during the pandemic, but rather acknowledges that “each person has a role in their own personal safety and the safety of others.”
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