Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick slammed President Joe Biden as a “hypocrite” for saying the Lone Star State’s lifting its COVID-19 mask mandate equated to “Neanderthal thinking,” according to a report.
The president attacked the Republican governors of Texas and Mississippi on Wednesday for lifting safety measures amid the pandemic as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns about new variants.
“The last thing, the last thing you need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime everything is fine, take off your mask,” Biden told reporters.
The Republican lieutenant governor assailed Biden on Thursday on “The Faulkner Focus.”
“How dare him attack Texas for our policies when he is allowing the border to be overrun by people coming in here by the hundreds, by the thousands and testing positive and coming on a bus to your state wherever you happen to live in the United States of America,” Patrick said, according to Fox News.
“What a hypocrite,” he added.
More than 100 illegal immigrants who were released by the Border Patrol into Texas since January have tested positive for the illness.
Felipe Romero, a spokesman for the border city of Brownsville, told Fox News this week that he is aware of cases where people may continue to travel despite testing positive and being told to quarantine — despite federal guidance to isolate.
“What I would call ‘Neanderthal thinking’ would be Gov. [Gavin] Newsom in California telling his people not to come out of their cave for a year,” Patrick said.
“I would call ‘Neanderthal thinking’ the Democrat Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo of New York sending patients with COVID to nursing homes where he covered up 12,000 people dying,” Patrick said.
“I would call ‘Neanderthal thinking’ of allowing people to cross the border illegally with COVID,” he said, adding that Biden “didn’t look at the facts,” and noting that 15 other states don’t have a mask mandate.
He also added that people were still encouraged to socially distance.
“We just joined that group,” he said. “We’re not telling people not to wear masks. We’re just removing a mandate.”
A Biden rep did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
In an interview with “Fox and Friends” on Thursday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott took a swing at Biden after more than 100 illegal immigrants who tested positive for the coronavirus were released by the Border Patrol into the Lone Star State.
“First, it obviously is not the type of thing that the president should be saying,” Abbott said on the show. “But, second, he kind of said it on the worst day he could have, because the same day he said that in Texas, the Biden administration was releasing illegal immigrants into our communities who had COVID.”
He added, “The Biden administration was exposing Texans to COVID. That is a Neanderthal-type approach to dealing with the COVID situation.”
Abbott blamed the Biden administration’s “lack of constraint of testing and quarantining people who come across the border illegally.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday defended President Biden’s attack on the “Neanderthal thinking” of governors ending COVID-19 mask mandates.
Psaki said Biden’s language was meant to describe the actions of Abbott and fellow Republican Gov. Tate Reeves of Mississippi, rather than to demean them personally as mentally primitive.
“The behavior of a Neanderthal, just to be very clear, the behavior of,” she stressed at her daily press briefing.
“What everybody saw yesterday was a reflection of his frustration and exasperation.”