President Biden told reporters that Texas and Mississippi were making a “big mistake” by opening their economies and lifting mask mandates, arguing the move came at a critical moment in the pandemic fight.
From the Post Millennial:
“The last, uh, the last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that, in the meantime, everything is fine, take off your mask. Forget it. It still matters,” Biden told the group. “As of last, as of yesterday, we had lost 511,874 Americans. We’re gonna lose thousands more…” he continued before trailing off onto talking about the importance of vaccinations.
The move comes at a time of declining cases and wider availability of vaccines:
Moves the federal government has made in the past few days backs up their thinking. Yesterday the White House announced Johnson & Johnson and Merck were teaming up to accelerate vaccine production, pushing the timetable up from the end of July until the May, as to when there will be enough vaccines available to every American.
“Too many Texans have been sidelined from employment opportunities,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said of his decision to lift the mandates. “Too many small business owners have struggled to pay their bills. This must end. It is now time to open Texas 100%.”
But the move has faced backlash from around the country, with embattled California Gov. Gavin Newsom calling the move “absolutely reckless.”
Conservatives also criticized the Texas governor, saying he made the move too late to save businesses in the state.
“You are far too late,” former state Rep. Jonathan Stickland tweeted. “Many lives and businesses have already been destroyed while you played King. Texans deserve better, you’ve got to go.”
Abbott has faced controversy after much of the state was left without power amid a brutal winter storm, with many placing blame on the state’s decision to transition much of the power grid to much less reliable wind power.
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