by WorldTribune Staff, May 18, 2021
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Sunday that there were zero Covid-related deaths on that day, noting it is “the only time that’s happened since data was tracked in March, 2020.”
Abbott also reported that Texas had “the fewest Covid cases in over 13 months, the lowest 7-day Covid positivity rate ever, and the lowest Covid hospitalizations in 11 months.”
On March 2, Abbott issued an executive order lifting the state’s mask mandate and allowing all businesses of any type to open at 100 percent capacity.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves also lifted his state’s mask mandate at the time.
Joe Biden criticized Abbott and Reeves, saying: “The last thing, the last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime, everything’s fine, take off your mask, forget it.”
Abbott said Biden made his “Neanderthal thinking” comment “on the worst day he could have, because the same day he said that in Texas, the Biden administration was releasing illegal immigrants into our communities who had Covid. … The Biden administration was exposing Texans to Covid. That is a Neanderthal-type approach to dealing with the Covid situation.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended Biden’s comments as a “reflection of his frustration and exasperation.”
As his state’s virus case load continued on a steady decline, Reeves tweeted: “Neanderthals 1, Biden 0”.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance on Thursday, saying that it’s safe for fully vaccinated Americans to forgo social distancing and go most places – indoor or outdoor – without a mask. But some blue states, including Hawaii and Massachusetts, have insisted they will keep their mask mandates in place.
Close to 47 percent of the adult population in the U.S. is fully vaccinated, according to data published by the CDC, while nearly 60 percent of the adult population has received at least one dose. The vaccination rate is expected to rise shortly following the Food and Drug Administration’s approval this week for the use of the Pfizer vaccine in children between the ages of 12 and 15.