Texas Gov. Greg Abbott fired back at President Biden Thursday for accusing him and other red-state leaders of “neanderthal thinking” for lifting COVID-19 mask mandates — insisting it is the president who has primitive policy logic.
In an interview with Fox and Friends, Abbott took a swing at Biden after more than 100 illegal immigrants who tested positive for the coronavirus were released by the Border Patrol into the Lone Star State.
“First, it obviously is not the type of thing that the president should be saying,” Abbott said on the show. “But, second, he kind of said it 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.”
He added, “The Biden administration was exposing Texans to COVID. That is a Neanderthal type approach to dealing with the COVID situation.”
Abbott blamed the Biden administration’s “lack of constraint of testing and quarantining people who come across the border illegally.”
Felipe Romero, a spokesman for the border city of Brownsville, told Fox News Wednesday that Border Patrol is telling the migrants who tested positive to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to quarantine and maintain social distance, but that Brownsville doesn’t have the authority to stop them from traveling to the rest of the country.
The fiery back-and-forth came after Biden slammed the “neanderthal thinking” of Republican governors who lifted COVID-19 mask mandates in Texas and Mississippi on Wednesday.
“The last thing, the last thing you need is neanderthal thinking that in the meantime everything is fine, take off your mask,” he told reporters.
But on Thursday, Abbott defended the move, telling CNBC that Texans already know that “the safe standard, among other things, is to wear a mask.”
“Do they really need the state to tell them what they already know for their own personal behavior?” Abbott said.