Does he know what “unity” means?
In one of the more divisive statements he’s has made since entering the White House, President Joe Biden effectively called the governors of Texas and Mississippi ignorant cavemen during a bipartisan meeting in the Oval Office on Wednesday.
Asked by reporters about the decision by those two states’ Republican leaders to end the mask mandates they instituted during the coronavirus pandemic, Biden said it was “a big mistake” and “Neanderthal thinking.”
“Look, I hope everybody’s realized by now, these masks make a difference,” the president said. “We are on the cusp of being able to fundamentally change the nature of this disease because of the way with 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 is fine, take off your masks, forget it. It still matters.”
NEW: President Biden calls Texas and Mississippi decisions to end mask mandates “a big mistake” and criticizes what he views as “Neanderthal thinking” after CDC warned against complacency in the face of emerging coronavirus variants on Monday. pic.twitter.com/Mmdln3gNG6
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 3, 2021
This comes from the president who, in his inaugural speech, called for unity among Americans nationwide.
“Without unity, there is no peace,” Biden said. “Only bitterness and fury.”
Ironically, it seems much of the bitterness is coming from the president himself.
The question he was asked was in reference to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves’ announcements Tuesday that they were lifting their statewide mask mandates and reopening businesses.
I just announced Texas is OPEN 100%.
I also ended the statewide mask mandate.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) March 2, 2021
Starting tomorrow, we are lifting all of our county mask mandates and businesses will be able to operate at full capacity without any state-imposed rules. Our hospitalizations and case numbers have plummeted, and the vaccine is being rapidly distributed. It is time!
— Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) March 2, 2021
Mississippi’s mandate ended Wednesday, while Texas’ will be lifted on March 10.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz mocked Biden’s divisive comments, calling him “Uniter-in-chief” in a tweet Wednesday.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 3, 2021
Many in Texas are seemingly going to continue to wear masks despite the mandate being lifted. The hashtag “#MaskUpTexas” started trending soon after Abbott made the announcement.
It turns out we don’t need new variants to cause another wave in this pandemic we just need anti-science Governors who have the patience and self control of toddlers. #MaskUpTexas -even if they don’t ask you too.
— Dara Kass, MD (@darakass) March 3, 2021
Some businesses will continue to require them, according to Reuters.
That is as it should be, according to Abbott.
“Removing state mandates does not end personal responsibility,” the governor said in a statement Tuesday. “With this executive order, we are ensuring that all businesses and families in Texas have the freedom to determine their own destiny.”
“Today’s announcement doesn’t abandon safe practices that Texans have mastered over the past year,” the governor said. “Instead, it’s a reminder that each person has a role to play in their own personal safety & the safety of others.”
Today’s announcement doesn’t abandon safe practices that Texans have mastered over the past year. Instead, it’s a reminder that each person has a role to play in their own personal safety & the safety of others.
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) March 2, 2021
It’s interesting, though, that Biden — a man who was so critical of former President Donald Trump for his divisive rhetoric and who so preached unity — would go so far as to call people Neanderthals for disagreeing with him.
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