Latest coronavirus: Covid-19 hospitalizations in the United States drop below 46,000
President Joe Biden has slammed the governors of Texas and Mississippi after deciding to end mask warrants and other coronavirus restrictions in their states.
Several states have eased or lifted restrictions on business and social activities in recent days, encouraged by the drop in Covid-19 hospitalizations and the growing number of people vaccinated against the virus. Texas and Mississippi announced Tuesday that they will no longer enforce the wearing of masks and end capacity limits on companies, drawing criticism from some lawmakers who said the cuts had gone too far.
“I think that’s a big mistake,” Biden, a Democrat, said on Wednesday when asked about the rulings. He added: “Look, I hope everyone has realized that we have made a difference. We are on the verge of being able to fundamentally change the nature of this disease because of the way we have been able to get vaccines in people’s arms.
“The last thing we need is for Neanderthals to think it’s okay in the meantime, take off your masks, forget about it.” It still matters.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves hit back in a tweet. “Mississippians don’t need managers. As the numbers drop, they can weigh their choices and listen to the experts. I guess I just think we should trust the Americans, not insult them, ”he said.
Greg Abbott, the Republican Governor of Texas, has called on his state to be “100%” open, saying it can continue to contain the spread of the coronavirus as more residents, especially the elderly, were getting vaccinated. Reeves, also a Republican, said on Tuesday that “the risk of overwhelming our hospitals with severe cases of Covid is coming to an end.”
Both states have upheld recommendations that residents wear face masks when social distancing is not possible.
In Texas, companies can limit capacity or require additional security measures on their own, the governor’s office said.