President Joe Biden slams governors for lifting mask mandates, calls it ‘Neanderthal pondering’

President Joe Biden on Wednesday slammed states that repealed Covid-19 restrictions on companies and rescinded mask mandates for residents, calling the strikes a “big mistake.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, each Republicans, introduced Tuesday they might permit companies to reopen at 100% capability and elevate mask mandates. Biden’s remarks had been in response to shouted questions from the press particularly in regards to the two states.

“Look, I hope everybody’s realized by now these masks make a difference,” Biden advised reporters on the White House. “We are on the cusp of being able to fundamentally change the nature of this disease because of the way in which we’re able to get vaccines in people’s arms. … 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 added that it is “critical, critical, critical” that state officers “follow the science” and encourage Americans to proceed to put on masks and observe all public well being tips.

“I know you all know that,” Biden advised reporters. “I wish the heck some of our elected officials would.”

In response to Biden’s remarks, Reeves tweeted that “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.”

In asserting their selections, Reeves and Abbott each cited the declining variety of new Covid-19 circumstances and the rising availability of vaccines as causes for ending the restrictions. But federal officers have been warning that the decline in new circumstances seems to be stalling out and that the emergence of recent coronavirus variants might result in a resurgence.

“It is clear from the recoveries, the vaccinations, the reduced hospitalizations, and the safe practices that Texans are using, that state mandates are no longer needed,” Renae Eze, Abbott’s press secretary, mentioned in a press release to CNBC. “We must now do more to restore livelihoods and normalcy for Texans. The Governor’s focus has been, and always will be, protecting the lives and livelihoods of Texans.”

She added that Texans have “the tools and knowledge to combat” Covid-19 and might make their very own selections. Eze mentioned the “Governor was clear in telling Texans that COVID hasn’t ended, and that all Texans should follow medical advice and safe practices” through the pandemic.

Both governors struck the same tone in making their bulletins Tuesday, saying that folks ought to nonetheless observe public well being steering, however that statewide mandates usually are not applicable. Despite the rollback of the restrictions, some companies in each states have mentioned they’ll nonetheless require masking of their shops.

On Monday, earlier than the 2 governors made their bulletins, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warned state officers towards lifting public well being restrictions too shortly.

Over the previous seven days, the U.S. reported a mean of greater than 65,400 each day new circumstances, in line with information compiled by Johns Hopkins University. That’s far under the height of about 250,000 new circumstances day-after-day that the nation was reporting in early January, however it’s nonetheless effectively above the speed of an infection the U.S. noticed over the summer time when the virus swept throughout the Sun Belt.

“At this level of cases, with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained,” Walensky mentioned Monday. “With these statistics, I am really worried about more states rolling back the exact public health measures we have recommended to protect people from Covid-19.”

“Please hear me clearly: At this level of cases with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained,” she mentioned.

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