Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Thursday fired back at President Joe Biden for labeling his state’s move, as well as others’, to scrap its mask mandate “Neanderthal thinking,” calling a recent report that the Border Patrol released over 100 COVID-positive undocumented immigrants into the state.
“First, it obviously is not the type of thing that the president should be saying,” Abbott told “Fox & Friends” on Thursday morning. “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.”
“The Biden administration was exposing Texans to COVID,” he added. “That is a Neanderthal-type approach to dealing with the COVID situation.”
Abbott also blamed the Biden administration’s “lack of constraint of testing and quarantining people who come across the border illegally.”
“But, more importantly, with regard to the masks, the change in Texas really wasn’t all that much different from where we were before for a couple of reasons,” Abbott also argued. “First, we are still strongly advocating that every Texan follow the best practice. Where we are today is completely different from where we were this time last year when Texans and Americans didn’t know how to deal with this for an entire year. Texans have learned the best practice, and that is to wear a mask. And we still strongly recommend that people do wear a mask.”
In another Thursday interview, Abbott defended the decision to open up the state, telling CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that Texans already know that “the safe standard, among other things, is to wear a mask.”
“Do they really need the state to tell them what they already know for their own personal behavior?” Abbott said.
On Wednesday, the day after Abbott announced that the Lone Star State was “OPEN 100%,” Biden called his move and a similar one in Mississippi a “big mistake”.
“The last thing, the last thing you need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime everything is fine, take off your mask,” he told reporters in the Oval Office.
Notably, Abbott and the president spent hours together last Friday in Houston with no hint of animosity, The Dallas Morning News reported. Biden assessed Texas’ recovery from the previous week’s statewide power failures and toured a vaccination “super site” at NRG Park capable of delivering 6,000 shots per day, according to the newspaper.
RELATED: Gov. Abbott: ‘Texas is OPEN 100%’
Thursday afternoon, Abbott issued a statement expressing his frustration with the Biden administration’s immigration policy, blaming immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border for spreading the coronavirus recently.
“The unconscionable act by the Biden Administration of releasing COVID-positive illegal immigrants in our state puts the lives of Texans and Americans at risk. Border security is strictly a federal responsibility. The federal government alone has the responsibility to test, screen and quarantine illegal immigrants crossing our border who may have COVID,” the governor said. “Instead of doing their job, the Biden Administration suggested it did not have the sufficient resources and, remarkably, asked Texas to assist them in aiding their illegal immigration program. Texas refused. We will not aid a program that makes our country a magnet for illegal immigration.”
On Wednesday, Felipe Romero, a spokesman for the border city of Brownsville, told Fox News that the Border Patrol is telling immigrants who tested positive to adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to quarantine and maintain social distance, but that the city doesn’t have the authority to prevent them from journeying elsewhere in the U.S.
At the U.S. Capitol, Texas Sen. John Cornyn (R), who also met with the president in Houston, defended Abbott against the criticism his order has received.
“President Biden has a lot of problems to take care of. […] And so I don’t think he’s got a lot to say about preaching to my state about how to handle this COVID-19 virus,” he said, adding that “the fact of the matter is, if you want to wear a mask you can still wear a mask.”
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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NYC Mayor Adams’ budget cuts slash total number of police and education funds
“No city should be left to handle a national humanitarian crisis largely on its own, and without the significant and timely support we need from Washington, D.C., today’s budget will only be the beginning,” said New York City Democratic Mayor Eric Adams about his decision to make budget cuts as a result of the overwhelming migrant crisis.
However, those who will suffer from budget cuts to the city’s services to offset the cost of dealing with the ever-increasing number of migrants are those that are in place to make the city better.
“The cuts will see police freeze hiring and bring the total number of police officers below 30,000. It would further slash the education budget by $1 billion over two years and affect a litany of other agencies” reports Just The News.
Albeit, Adams admitted: “In all my time in government, this is probably one of the most painful exercises I’ve gone through.” More than 110,000 migrants have arrived in New York City over the past year, including roughly 13,000 sent from Texas by GOP Governor Greg Abbott as part of his ongoing bussing plan to send new arrivals to the U.S. to sanctuary cities.
However, similar to other leaders of sanctuary cities, Adams is unwilling to put his money where his mouth is. In September, Adams warned that the crisis would “destroy New York City” and begged the federal government to pay for his mess.
“I’m gonna tell you something, New Yorkers, never in my life have I had a problem that I didn’t see an ending to. I don’t see an ending to this,” Adams said at the time. “The federal government needs to do its job. We need the federal government, the Congress members, the Senate and the president to do their job: close the borders,” said Adams’ advisor Ingrid Lewis Martin insisted in early October. “And until you close the borders, you need to come on with a full-on decompression strategy where you can take all of our migrants and move them through our 50 states.”
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