Rep. Waltz hits back at Biden: Keeping schools closed is 'Neanderthal thinking'

Biden swiped at Texas, Mississippi governors who lifted mask mandates

Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., pushed back Thursday on President Joe Biden for calling out red states for lifting mask mandates, arguing that the president is essentially calling his political opponents "stupid."

Biden took a swipe at Republican governors in Texas and Mississippi Wednesday, accusing them of "Neanderthal thinking" following their decision to reverse COVID safety policies, including mask mandates.

"We've been able to move that all the way up to the end of May to have enough [vaccines] for every American, to get every adult American to get a shot," Biden told reporters from the White House Wednesday. "The last thing we need is the Neanderthal thinking."

RED STATES ABANDON MASK MANDATES, BIDEN SAYS: 'NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO LET UP'

Despite the warning issued by health officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding a fourth resurgence in coronavirus cases earlier this week, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, R., said all state regulations would be lifted starting Wednesday.

Similarly, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, R., pointed to lower case counts and the increase in vaccine accessibility as justification to revoke all state-imposed coronavirus regulations starting March 10.

Waltz said on "Fox & Friends" that Biden's comments showed typical Washington, D.C. "liberal elitism" where politicians "pretend" to have the right answers. 

REP. WALTZ: "Let me tell you what Neanderthal thinking is, Neanderthal thinking is keeping our schools closed, letting our kids fall further and further behind. Maybe Neanderthal thinking is letting restaurants put people in tents while they're sitting outside but they can't let them inside or not putting seniors first when it comes to our vaccines ... What Neanderthal thought it was a good idea to allow infected seniors back into nursing homes when it was clearly the most exposed and vulnerable population?

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So we can go down the list if he wants to, of stupid ideas. But basically what he's doing is calling us stupid and it is a clear liberal elitism that we see coming time and time again out of Washington, D.C.

Where they pretend like they have all of the answers. And I've got to tell you in Florida we're managing this coronavirus, we're keeping the economy open, and we're walking that fine line with common sense."

Fox News' Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.