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Psaki defends Biden’s ‘neanderthal thinking’ remark

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White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday defended President Joe Biden calling the logic behind Texas and Mississippi lifting their mask mandates as “neanderthal thinking,” which upset many Republican officials from those states.

RELATED: Gov. Abbott: ‘Texas is OPEN 100%’

Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office on Wednesday while wearing a mask, Biden called the lifting of mask mandates a “big mistake” and described the moves as “neanderthal thinking”.

“The last thing we need is neanderthal thinking that in the meantime everything is fine,” the president said.

At Thursday’s White House press briefing, a reporter asked Psaki, “How does comparing someone with a neanderthal help convince them to change course and get on board with your public health message?”

“The behavior of a neanderthal, just to be very clear,” she replied. “The behavior of.”

Psaki continued, saying that Biden’s Wednesday comment “was a reflection of his frustration and exasperation, which many American people have,” adding that “for almost a year now, people across the country have sacrificed, and many times they haven’t had the information they need from the federal government. They haven’t had access to a greater understanding of what the public health guidelines should look like.”

“And those include many, many people in” Mississippi, Texas, Ohio, Florida, and “every state across the country,” the press secretary added.

Furthermore, she said the president “believes that—with more than half a million Americans’ lives lost, with families that continue to suffer—that it’s imperative that people listen, across the country, whether they live in a red state or blue state, to the guidance of public health experts.”

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) went after Biden for his “neanderthal thinking” comment, tweeting Wednesday, “President Biden said allowing Mississippians to decide how to protect themselves is ‘neanderthal thinking.’ Mississippians don’t need handlers. As numbers drop, they can assess their choices and listen to experts. I guess I just think we should trust Americans, not insult them.”

Reeves later spoke to Fox News host Neil Cavuto that evening, adding, “When President Biden said that we were all Neanderthals, it struck me as someone who needs to get outside of Washington, D.C., and actually travel to Middle America.”

Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R) responded to Biden’s comment, tweeting, “Freedom of choice for Americans: ‘Neanderthal thinking’ Opening borders to illegal immigrants with COVID: ‘compassion'”.

He also tweeted Thursday that the political left “want to jail or fine you for not wearing a mask. When they can’t, they react this way. This isn’t sane,” adding, “BTW you can still wear masks in TX, most businesses require it. It’s just a choice now, as it should be.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Biden’s top health adviser and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, criticized the moves to lift the mask mandates.

“It’s just inexplicable why you would want to pull back now,” Fauci told CNN on Wednesday. “I understand the need to want to get back to normality, but you’re only going to set yourself back if you just completely push aside the public health guidelines.”

RELATED: Beto O’Rourke: Gov. Abbott’s Decision Is Going To Kill More Texans

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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State officials, CDC investigating monkeypox case in Florida

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with Florida state health officials, are investigating what is believed to be a case of monkeypox. A statement from the Florida Department of Health in Broward County stated the “case is related to international travel, and the person remains isolated.”

Late Friday a New York City resident also tested positive for the virus that causes monkeypox, and is the state’s first confirmed case. On Sunday, President Joe Biden made his first public statements about the outbreaks, saying the recent spread of monkeypox in at least 12 countries are “something that everybody should be concerned about.”

Axios reports a person was confirmed positive with the virus in Massachusetts, New York and “roughly a half dozen other cases” are “being monitored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

 

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