The governors of Texas and Mississippi lifted all corona restrictions – much to the displeasure of US President Joe Biden.
US President Joe Biden has criticized the relaxation of corona-related restrictions in several US states and accused the governors responsible for “Neanderthal thinking”. “I think it’s a big mistake,” said the Democrat on Wednesday in the White House to lift restrictions in Texas and Mississippi. Not until late May will there be enough vaccine to vaccinate all adult Americans. “The last thing we need is a Neanderthal thought that everything will be fine in the meantime.” It is “crucial” to follow the protective measures recommended by science.
The Republican Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, announced on Tuesday that it would lift the mask requirement and all capacity limits for restaurants and other businesses in his state. The Republican governor of Mississippi, Tate Reeves, had also announced that all masks and capacity restrictions for restaurants and companies would be terminated. Other states, including Ohio and Michigan, have at least announced easing of their corona requirements.
Abbott and Reeves resisted criticism on Twitter on Wednesday. “We are able to contain Covid and safely 100 percent open Texas,” wrote Abbott. Reeves criticized Biden for calling it “Neanderthal thinking” to let the people of Mississippi decide how to protect themselves. The governor wrote that these people did not need any “carers”. “I think we should trust the Americans and not offend them.”
“Inexplicable and thoughtless”
The top immunologist and Biden advisor Anthony Fauci called the withdrawal of the protective measures “inexplicable” and “rash”. Fauci told CNN on Wednesday evening that months ago the United States had seen the number of cases increase alarmingly again after some states had not followed the experts’ guidelines. The daily number of cases in the USA has decreased to 55,000 to 70,000, but is still high – and the decline has now slowed down.
The White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki criticized politicians who had not taken the expert advice seriously since the beginning of the Corona crisis. The US has been dealing with the pandemic for a year, Psaki said on Wednesday. “And the whole country is paying the price for political leaders who ignored science about the pandemic.”
Psaki emphasized that Biden’s appeal to Americans to wear masks in his first 100 days in office was based on expert assessments who assumed that 50,000 lives could be saved in this way. “We have to remain vigilant.”
“Not the time to loosen up”
The head of the US health authority CDC, Rochelle Walensky, warned: “Now is not the time to relax all requirements.” She appealed to people to continue to adhere to the precautionary measures to contain the pandemic, such as wearing masks, “regardless of the decision of the state”.
Biden’s predecessor in office, Donald Trump, had denied the danger posed by the virus at the beginning of the pandemic, later used certain drugs as supposed miracle cures without any scientific evidence, and until recently made it clear that he found wearing masks rather annoying. Biden has made the fight against the pandemic one of his main goals.
Since the pandemic began, nearly 520,000 people in the United States have died after being infected with the coronavirus, according to statistics from Johns Hopkins University. More than 28.7 million of the approximately 330 million Americans contracted the virus. The infection numbers are well below those at the beginning of the year, but have remained at more than 50,000 in the past few days.