On Sunday, Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott highlighted several achievements in his state’s battle against COVID-19, months after President Joe Biden ridiculed the state’s reopening policy as “Neanderthal thought.”
In a tweet, Abbott said:
Today Texas reported:
- 0 Covid related deaths–the only time that’s happened since data was tracked in March 2020.
- the fewest Covid cases in over 13 months
- the lowest 7-day Covid positivity rate ever
- the lowest Covid hospitalizations in 11 months.
Today Texas reported:
* 0 Covid related deaths–the only time that’s happened since data was tracked in March, 2020.
* the fewest Covid cases in over 13 months
* the lowest 7-day Covid positivity rate ever
* the lowest Covid hospitalizations in 11 months.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 17, 2021
Biden mocked Republican governors and legislators in Texas and Mississippi for removing mask mandates and pushing to restart their economies in early March.
In response to a reporter’s query about the two nations, Biden said, “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. We’ve been able to move that all the way up to the end of May to have enough for every American, to get every adult American to get a shot.”
“The last thing, the last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime everything’s fine, take off your mask,” Biden continued. “Forget it. It still matters. … And 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 distant. And I know you all know that I wish the heck some of our elected officials knew it.”
Abbott’s office later sent a statement to The Daily Wire in response to Biden’s remark. Renae Eze, Abbott’s press secretary, defended the governor’s response to the outbreak, emphasizing that Texans had the ability to make their own health decisions.
“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,” Eze said. “The fact is, Texas now has the tools and knowledge to combat COVID while also allowing Texans and small businesses to make their own decisions.”
“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,” he added. “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.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) loosened its mask guidelines for vaccinated citizens on Thursday, long after several states had already eliminated mask requirements. After a slew of negative economic news, including increasing unemployment and inflation above economists’ estimates, the revised guidance was released.
According to The Daily Wire:
Under the new guidance, the CDC says Americans who have been fully vaccinated — those who received their final dose more than 14 days prior — don’t need to wear masks for most indoor or outdoor activities. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the guidance update reflects new data and scientific literature.
“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physically distancing,” Dr. Walensky told reporters in a virtual press conference on Thursday afternoon. “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that we have stopped doing because of the pandemic.”