Texas Governor Greg Abbott was met with considerable backlash after announcing on Tuesday that the state’s mask mandate was going to be lifted, as well as other restrictions intended to slow the spread of COVID-19.

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As CNN reports, this is a pretty irresponsible move, because only a fraction of the state has been vaccinated and it is likely a move intended to bolster support amongst his Republican base for his re-election campaign.

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Inevitably, COVID-19 will be spreading through the state again and Abbott needs someone to blame besides himself. He has turned to one of Texas’s favorite scapegoats and is blaming immigrants for spreading the virus, as well as President Joe Biden.

In response to Abbott’s decision, Biden said in a press conference that lifting mask mandates was “neanderthal thinking” which is, of course, something that Abbott’s followers get more worked up about than a deadly virus:

“We are on the cusp of being able to fundamentally change the nature of this disease because of the way in which we’re able to get vaccines in people’s arms,” Biden said. “The last thing — 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 has been continuing to blame both immigrants and Biden for the spread of the coronavirus, jumping off Biden’s statements:

And his cohorts are carrying his message as well:

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Well, now we know what their tactic will be when COVID case numbers start to rise against in the Lone Star state.

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*First Published: March 4, 2021, 9:43 am