President Joe Biden sharply criticized states lifting Covid-19 restrictions against the pleas from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other top public health officials, accusing those in power of “Neanderthal thinking.”
“I think it’s a big mistake. Look. I hope everybody’s realized by now, these masks make a difference. 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,” Biden said when asked about Gov. Greg Abbott and Gov. Tate Reeves’ decisions to relax restrictions in Texas and Mississippi.
“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.
He referenced a card he keeps in his pocket with the daily death toll of the virus amid his administration’s push to get vaccines into arms.
Biden, who is meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the Oval Office on the subject of ending cancer, called on all Americans to continue to follow guidelines despite the mixed messaging from some state officials.
“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 told reporters.