In newly released data, Texas has reported zero deaths from COVID-19 – just two months after Biden slammed the state for what he claimed was “neanderthal thinking.”
The White House laid into Texas Gov. Greg Abbott when the Republican Gov. decided to roll back business restrictions and lift the state’s mask mandate.
But now, for the first time in about 14 months, the Lone Star State reported no coronavirus deaths according to state health data.
Abbott said the case numbers reported on Sunday – 388 – were the lowest in more than 13 months, while the number of hospitalizations was the lowest in 11 months.
President Biden criticized both Texas and Mississippi, at the beginning of March for relaxing lockdown measures, accusing state officials of “Neanderthal thinking.” At the time, Abbott had announced that businesses would be allowed to operate at full capacity – even though some health experts cautioned at the time that dropping preventative measures could lead to a spike in cases.
“I think it’s a big mistake,” Biden told reporters, following the announcement from Texas. “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.”
Abbott’s office later responded to Biden’s comment in a statement to The Daily Wire. Abbott Press Secretary Renae Eze defended the governor’s approach to the virus and said emphasized that Texans could make their own choices about their health.
“The Governor was clear in telling Texans that COVID hasn’t ended, and that all Texans should follow medical advice and safe practices to continue containing COVID,” Eze said. “The fact is, Texas now has the tools and knowledge to combat COVID while also allowing Texans and small businesses to make their own decisions.”
“It is clear from the recoveries, the vaccinations, the reduced hospitalizations, and the safe practices that Texans are using, that state mandates are no longer needed,” he added. “We must now do more to restore livelihoods and normalcy for Texans. The Governor’s focus has been, and always will be, protecting the lives and livelihoods of Texans.”
Contrary to Biden’s response, however, caseloads nationwide have dropped steadily since then.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also updated its guidance last Thursday, saying that it’s safe for fully vaccinated Americans to forgo social distancing and go most places – indoor or outdoor – without a mask, bringing to end more than a year of mandatory face coverings in most parts of the country.
Some states, such as Hawaii and Massachusetts, have insisted they will keep their mask mandates in place – choosing to ignore the science.
Leftists were outraged with the CDC’s seemingly sudden decision to kick face coverings to the curb, especially since less than two months ago CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky warned of “impending doom” as COVID-19 cases began to rise again.
Some argued the new directives were too unclear and reliant on an honor system that could require essential workers to police vaccination records, while others questioned whether the move was intended to spur more Americans to get vaccinated amid a steady decline in shots.
Close to 47% of the adult population in the U.S. is fully vaccinated, according to data published by the CDC, while nearly 60% of the adult population has received at least one dose. The vaccination rate is expected to rise shortly following the Food and Drug Administration’s approval this week for the use of the Pfizer vaccine in children between the ages of 12 and 15.
Author: Mark Jameson