JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - President Joe Biden and Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves are at odds over COVID-19 restrictions.
Tuesday, Reeves made the decision to remove all mask mandates and restrictions for businesses in his state. It came mere hours after Texas Governor Greg Abbott made a similar decision.
Wednesday, President Biden referred to these actions as “Neanderthal thinking.”
“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,” Biden said, per CNN.
He made it clear he disagrees with the line of thinking from Reeves and Abbott.
“The last thing -- the last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime, everything’s fine, take off your mask, forget it. It still matters,” he said.
Reeves responded by saying Mississippians can think for themselves.
“Mississippians don’t need handlers. As numbers drop, they can assess their choices and listen to experts. I guess I just think we should trust Americans, not insult them,” Reeves wrote on Twitter.
Reeves was asked about the comments during a press conference Wednesday afternoon and threw a jab back at Biden.
“Given how long ago Mr. Biden was elected to the U.S. Congress, he certainly should know how Neanderthals think,” Reeves said. “I trust the people of Mississippi to make the right decisions [...] You cannot focus on data and science in making good decisions on those days when the numbers are going up and ignore the data and the science on those days when the numbers are going down.”
He says the numbers no longer justify government intervention.
“If not now, when?” he said of his decision.