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- As of March 5, there have been 29.5 million coronavirus cases in the United States, with 534,135 reported deaths.
- President Joe Biden criticized Texas and Mississippi of ending their state mask-wearing mandates, calling the decision a “big mistake” and accusing them of “Neanderthal thinking.”
- There are currently 16 states without masks requirements, some including Arizona, Florida, Georgia, and Oklahoma.
- Over 82 million vaccine doses have been administered in the US, reaching 16.3% of the population. Each day, 2 million shots are being given.
- Director of the CDC, Rochelle Walensky, urged states not to loosen restrictions although there is a “plateau” in cases “potentially signaling a shift in the pandemic.” Anthony Fauci and other health officials mirror this statement.
There is plenty of evidence proving that masks and social distancing make a huge difference in decreasing the virus's spread. By re-opening before everyone has been vaccinated, Texas and Mississippi are ignoring the science that says it's a bad idea. Biden's 'neanderthal thinking' comment was intended to draw attention to the ignorance these states are displaying towards science and their dangerous decision-making.
The President is entitled to an opinion, of course, and therefore can certainly call the actions of these states 'neanderthal thinking' when it goes against what he believes and knows to be a fact: that re-opening at this time is dangerous. Texas governor Greg Abbott openly admitted the decision was made based on the virus's 'economic impact.' This tells the country these states value money over their citizens' lives, which will be in danger if the states re-open too quickly. USA Today reports the CDC is warning that early re-opening could increase the likelihood of a fourth wave of a new COVID strain.
The White House backed Biden's decision. Press secretary Jen Psaki explained that President Biden's words came from a place of frustration at having US health guidelines ignored when the country is so close to getting the pandemic under control after having lost so much. Despite his comment, however, Psaki assured President Biden would 'continue to work with governors of both parties on the pandemic response.' The President isn't refusing to help the states that are choosing to re-open—he's simply expressing an opinion backed by science.
While President Biden and other Democrats may criticize states that have decided to re-open, perhaps his 'Neanderthal thinking' description did not describe the controversy correctly. Biden was referring to Texas Gov. Abbott recently announcing that the state will allow businesses to open and run at normal capacity and that mask mandates will end. Mississippi Gov. Reeves announced the same for his state as well.
Ironically, Biden compared making progress in the country as Neanderthal, considering the nation has been at a standstill for almost a year. Despite being a primitive society, the Neanderthals did make societal advances. In this way, Biden's comment makes little sense. Gov. Abbott and Reeves' response to Biden's degrading comment about them does, however. Reeves acknowledges his citizens should be trusted, not handled. Texas press secretary said, 'The Governor was clear in telling Texans that COVID hasn't ended, and that all Texans should follow medical advice and safe practices to continue containing COVID.'
As President, Biden should support Texas and Mississippi as they re-open, keeping in mind that COVID-19 cases have been dropping and vaccines are becoming available. Biden's disrespectful attitude towards these governors does nothing for his promises of 'unifying' the country.
Aside from further dividing the nation, Biden's recent claims and actions demonstrate he does not consider the American people first. He condemned re-opening various states of the nation. Yet, despite over 100 COVID-positive illegal immigrants being released into Texas, Biden continues to advocate for illegals to receive the vaccine 'without fear of ICE.' This should be enough for the average citizen to see that President Biden has simultaneously bought into the coronavirus hype while still managing to fail the American people.