Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Thursday hit back at President Joe Biden for calling his move to rollback state mask mandates and reopen businesses "Neanderthal thinking," pointing out that the slam came on the same day it was revealed that COVID-19-positive migrants were coming into the country because of the president's eased policies.
"Because of their lack of constraint of testing and quarantining, people come across the border illegally. The Biden administration was exposing Texas to COVID-19," the Republican governor said on Fox News' "Fox and Friends." "That is a Neanderthal type approach of dealing with the COVID-19 situation."
Biden on Wednesday, after Texas and Mississippi lifted their longstanding face mask mandates, accused the red states' leaders of engaging in "Neanderthal thinking" about the response to the pandemic.
"It is not the type of thing a president should be saying," Abbott said. "He said it on the worst day he could have. The same day he said that, in Texas, the Biden administration was releasing illegal immigrants into our communities who had COVID-19."
Meanwhile, dropping mask mandates in Texas isn't "all that much different" than what was happening before, said Abbott, and the government is "still strongly advocating" all residents follow public health practices on masks and social distancing because Texans do know how to employ best practices on the disease.
"Where we are today is different from where we were this time last year when Texans and Americans didn't know how to deal with this," said Abbott. "For an entire year Texans learned the best practice to wear a mask and we strongly recommend that people do wear a mask."
He also pointed out that there were spikes after the Christmas and New Year holidays, but most of them did not happen because businesses or schools had been reopened, but instead becauase of home settings where people were not wearing masks.
"The mask requirement being eliminated isn't going to make a change in the state of Texas, and people in Texas will continue to wear masks even though there is not a state mandate," Abbott said.
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