Texas Gov. Abbott lashes out at Biden and immigrants for COVID-19 — after rolling back safety measures

Texas Gov. Abbott lashes out at Biden and immigrants for COVID-19 — after rolling back safety measures
Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas

President Joe Biden and health experts have been highly critical of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott this week for lifting the state's mask mandate and allowing businesses to fully reopen — a premature move even as spread of the virus has declined.

But even as Abbott defied the best public health advice, the far-right Republican still used the pandemic for his own demagogic ends, blaming Biden's immigration policy and undocumented immigrants for Texas' recent coronavirus infections.

During a Thursday appearance on Fox News, Abbott claimed, "The Biden administration was releasing illegal immigrants into our communities who have COVID. The Biden administration was spreading COVID in South Texas yesterday because of their lack of constraint of testing and quarantining people who come across the border illegally."

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, another Republican governor, has also been drawing criticism from health experts for deciding to lift COVID-19 restrictions in his state. And Biden described the Texas and Mississippi decisions as "Neanderthal thinking," stressing that social distancing measures should continue until more Americans have been vaccinated for COVID-19. According to CNN, around 6.5% of Texans have been vaccinated so far.

The president said, "I think it's a big mistake…. The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime, everything's fine, take off your mask, forget it. It still matters."

Abbott, in response, told Fox News, "The Biden administration was exposing Texans to COVID. That is a Neanderthal-type approach."

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.